When you empower a man to escape poverty it’s a wonderful thing, says Hebdavi Muhindo Tearfund’s Programme Director for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, empowering a woman is twice as wonderful. Hebdavi explains why...
As I sat in the meeting, I could tell there was something special about Masika*.
The meeting was being held in her village in the middle of rural DRC. The men and women here had lived in terrible poverty for many years. However, for some of them, their fortunes changed after a number of them formed a self-help group.
The women (and a few men) had pooled their very modest resources together, and issued members with small loans. With this money, they were able to grow more and better food, and to start new businesses.
The self-help group meeting was buzzing when I visited them. People were talking excitedly about how their lives were changing.
A tale to tell
Masika didn’t actually say that much at the meeting. However, when she did speak, you could see her passion and commitment. I could sense that here was a woman with a story to tell and I was keen to hear it.
After the meeting we visited a nearby farm where the group were learning how to make compost and grow more food. I took the opportunity to introduce myself to her.
‘I am excited to meet your group,’ I told her. ‘I think it’s very good what you are doing together.’