Develop Africa, Inc., Johnson City, United Stateshttp://www.developafrica.org
Develop Africa, Inc., Johnson City, United Stateshttp://www.developafrica.org
Project will provide training and financial booster-shot to small businesses, enabling them to start, expand and become self-sufficient. This assistance will help them to break the cycle of poverty.
According to the United Nations 2007-2008 Human Development report, Sierra Leone ranks as # 177 (last place) in Human Development Index. The UN estimates unemployment to be about 65 percent in Sierra Leone. Tens of thousands of youths and adults struggle to find a meaningful existence and are living below the poverty line. They are exposed to the temptations of resorting to a lifestyle of vices and destructive occupations. They desperately need help and a viable path to self-sufficiency.
Selected participants will be provided with foundational training in business management / entrepreneurship and business capital. This capital will enable them to start or expand their businesses, become self-reliant and also employ others.
Project will enable individuals and small businesses to move from making barely enough to meet their basic needs (living from hand to mouth) to a point where they will expand providing employment and contributing to national development.
Dear friends and supporters
We are delighted to share with you a video from Olivette, a very grateful beneficiary. Olivette went through the business training course and received a microfinance loan that you helped provide. In this video she says a big thank you to YOU.
She tells us that through the support we have provided, we have done a lot in the lives of her family members. On behalf of a group of beneficiaries, she states that support provided has made a lot of difference in the lives of the families of the beneficiaries and their individual lives.
Watch the video
Olivette explains that she has been blessed tremendously. She has 4 kids and wasn’t working. Things were really bad and she was in school. Through the support we provided in the form of scholarships and microfinance loans, she has been able to run a small business and buy the needed things for her kids and raise her family.
She says through the video: “I only want to say thank you to them and to let them know that whatever they’re giving it’s not going in vain, we appreciate it, and we are blessed. The lives of our children have been transformed. It has made a lot of difference.” Wow! What a testimony of the impact that YOU have made. You make this happen.
It's heart-warming to hear of the transforming impact of YOUR donations. It is great to know that what we are doing is fruitful and strengthening lives.
She concludes by saying: “thanks to all the people who made it possible for us to lift up our heads and walk proudly. May God bless you. May God bless all of you that are doing these things for us."
Are you looking for a way bring a smile to the face of a special woman in your life?
Starting now through May 13, GlobalGiving is giving away $5 for every donation made as a gift (using a GlobalGiving tribute card). And to make this even better, they’re offering two $1,000 bonus awards: 1 for the most money raised and another for the most donors.
Please share this wonderful campaign with your family and friends!
You can help Develop Africa provide more microfinance loans with a special gift today. Thanks for helping make a difference!
YOU are the reason we are all so grateful!
What's the evidence of success - in terms of changing lives? I submit 2 criteria for your consideration:
1. To be able to hear this directly from the beneficiary himself or herself. This means that the beneficiary has done a self-assessment and is able to experience and express the impact, change and transition.
2. To be able to see / hear of the on-going impact, after a year or two. In other words, to be able to see that the change is lasting and not just a flash in the pan / temporary fix.
This is the sum of Jariatu's video testimony where she explains that that through the funds that she has received, she runs a cookery business (a small local restaurant selling rice and local dishes). Through the proceeds of this business, she is able to pay school fess for her children and take care of other household needs. She has been doing this for 2 years now and has no debt.
Change is not change until it is verifiable and permanent change.
Thank you for being a part of Jariatu's story, for helping to effect verifiable, lasting change. This is what changing lives is all about and we are so grateful for your support that made this possible. With Jariatu, we says a big "thank you" to you - the GlobalGiving donors - that helped to provide the funds for her business.
Taking Our impact to The Next Level: In the video Jariatu expresses a desire for additional funds to enable her to buy the supplies she needs wholesale (rice and oil). Can you join us and help make this happen for her? We are hoping to provide new loans to many more small business owners in early 2013 - and your donation of $30 a month will help us do that. Your support is needed and important because it will help provide a life-line of independence to many families. Knowing that we can count on your $30 or more each month will provide ongoing progress - helping us to provide for the entire community. Your recurring donations will be a predictable stream of income, making it easier for us to plan financially.
Right now is a great time to sign up for a recurring donation as during the month of December, GlobalGiving is offering a 100% match on all initial recurring donations up to $100 per donor. Your recurring donation could also help us win a $500 bonus award! You have to sign up now in order for your donation to count during this campaign. Thanks for your support!
Sign up now - start your recurring donation - helping to provide many more loans!
It's exciting to be a part of making change happen and its uplifting to hear that we are positively helping to better the lives of people. This is the message that we get from the video of Rugiatu. Rugiatu is a small business food vendor in Freetown and has received microfinance / microcredit funding that helped her start and grow her business.
Rugiatu explains in the video that the business has helped her send her children to school and meet their needs. She expresses her deep appreciation and says - "You have played a great role in my life and my family!" Her video reminds us yet again that our investment and donations towards this project are having a great impact. Our support means so much to the beneficiaries and is deeply appreciated.
She ends the video with an appeal for additional funding to expand her business further. We welcome your support that will help her take her business to the next level.
Upcoming News: We are in the process of planning our next small business training session for microfinance beneficiaries. In partnership with AIDSL, we are also planning to hold special sessions that will train over 200 youths on various aspects such as how to run a business, entrepreneurial skills, modern financial management and resource mobilization. More on this shortly...
On behalf of Rugiatu and all the other beneficiaries, I gratefully say "Thank you so much!"
It's our pleasure to again share another video from one of our microfinance beneficiaries - Abioseh. In this video, Abioseh is interviewed in Krio (local language) by Joanne, one of our Coordinators in Sierra Leone. The video is sub-titled in English. The video is insightful because it shares her perspective on the secret to her success. She explains that thanks to the funds received was her business has progressed. She has been able to expand / add more items to the business - which she was not able to do before. She also has more stock at her home business. This has helped a lot because she does borrow money from anyone. She explains that she is able to conduct her business independently.
Secret to Business Success: When asked why she has been successful in repaying funds loaned, Abioseh says that other people do not have "business skills". She says (translated) "they should learn skills to help them to know how to do business. I was born into a family that ran a small business. I am always prudent and skilled in allocating my resources. In addition I can also manufacture one of the items I sell ..."
She closes the interview with a message for Develop Africa donors, Global Giving donors and partners - "I am continually thanking them for everything that they have done and are doing. I really praise them as one would praise God because of the way that they have helped. I am able to support my grandchildren. They have increased my finance which puts the business in a better place. ... I pray also for them so God can continue to bless them.
In an article by Finca on microfinance - Is microfinance an engine of development? Finca says yes. The article clearly demonstrates that "on one level, and in the right circumstances – microcredit can yield tangible results for the world's poor, whatever its critics might say." This is clearly trhe case with Abioseh and countless others. We are together through this project making a real difference.
Construction Update: In other news from Freetown, construction is in progress at the Develop Africa Empowerment and Training Institute. This institute is one of our launch pads for microfinance training / support and we need approximately $2000 USD to complete construction. Please make a generous donation today that will help us complete this center. Thanks for your support.
Your Donations Matched on June 13th: GlobalGiving will be matching donations on June 13th. This is a great time to make a donation as the funds donated will go even further.
Upcoming Father's Day Gift Suggestion: In closing, we wanted to let you know of the on-going opportunity to make a donation in honor of the special person in your life. A donation to this project is a fantastic (and easy) gift for Dad on Father’s Day! You can make a donation as a gift to your Dad on this project by selecting the third giving option, “gift or in honor of,” under the orange donate button on the project page. GlobalGiving will then send your Dad or the gift recipient an email, print-at-home, or physical card. GlobalGiving offers several fun card designs and you will have the option of choosing a design customized for this project, using the project’s main photo (this option is available for email and print-at-home cards).
Fathers - you can also request this as your Father's day gift!
Make your donation in Father's honor and support a great cause today!
Thanks again for all you do to empower small businesses!
Hope your year is going well. Its with joy that we share a video testimonial by Seray - one of the female beneficiaries that we have together helped by providing microfinance funds. Seray is a repeat recipient of microcredit funds.
In the video Seray expresses her gratitude to Develop Africa and its partners (that includes YOU and other GlobalGiving donors) who have helped to provide the funds. The video was recorded during a business training session offered to fund recipients - as part of the support provided to help them succeed. In the video you can see some of the other training session participants.
Watch Video (1.5 minutes)
As Seray explains in the video, the fund provided has "really helped me - taking me from where I was to where I am now. At least, it has helped me with my business, all through out the year, last year. ... It also helped me open a bank account. ... I bless God for the people that initiated this idea. I bless God for the partnership that was able to choose me to benefit from this funding. I pray that that God will bless them in whatever they are involved in and their families."
You must be the change you want to see in the world - Mahamta Gandi
It's exciting to read, hear about and be a part of making change happen. We are truly together helping to transform Africa - one life at a time. This is exciting and life-transforming. By helping to provide these funds and training we are being the change we want to see.
Want to help be a part of making more change happen? A great opportunity is just a few days away. Starting at 12:00 am EDT on March 14th, GlobalGiving will be matching all donations made through www.globalgiving.org (including this project) up to $1,000 per donor at 30%.
This means that your donation of $100 will be supersized and become $130! $1000 will become $1300. This is an amazing opportunity to make your donations go even further and help us do even more. We would so very much appreciate your support - that will provide many more loans to beneficiaries like Seray. Thanks for your support.
Want an email reminder: simply send us an email at info - at - developafrica.org and we will send you a reminder on March 14th.
Thank you change maker!
It is with great joy that I share the story of Isata. Thanks to your support, we together have helped to enhance her business and improve the standard of living of her family.
Madam Isata is an illiterate petty trader, who has never had the opportunity to attend any educational institution. She lives in Bo, Sierra Leone. She has nine children (3 boys and 6 girls). Isata struggles to educate her children. The eldest child is preparing for his public (WASCE) examination. The school costs including books, school fees, uniforms are burdensome on Isata. The father of her children is alive, but he is an additional burden to the nine children as his salary as low rank police officer is a pittance for the maintenance of the family.
Isata is engaged in cookery sale (cooked rice, foofoo, boiled cassava and beans) as an income generating activity to take care of her family and educate her nine children. Isata makes a profit of Le 50,000 (about $12) per day. She carries out her business in a rented shack for which she pays about $4 per month. Isata has been in this business for five years. Originally, each day due to lack of money, Isata would buy the food items in small quantities (rice by cup, palm oil by pint, fish by measure, etc.) to sustain her business. The low profit margin put the sustainability of her business at a high risk. Isata therefore needed micro finance to expand her business, by buying rice by bag, palm oil by bata (five – gallon container, fish by basket, etc.) to maximize profit, which she could plough back into the business for sustainability as well as being able to take good care of her children.
Thanks to the funds donated, Isata received an interest-free loan and has been able to buy her cooking supplies at wholesale - which has immediately increased her bottom line. She is very grateful to Develop Africa and all GlobalGiving donors for supporting her with micro finance to enhance her business and improve the standard of living of her family. Thanks so much for your support!
Make a Donation Today - Great Way to Help Change Lives: Giving towards microfinance is a great way to help small businesses grow and become independent. Study after study confirms this and we have together been able to strengthen many businesses. Your donations are making a definite difference and positive impact to the lives of women and families. By donating to this project - you are doing the greatest good and bringing permanent change! Its heart-warming to have this opportunity to help influence destinies and we welcome your on-going support. Together we can empower many more women / small businesses.
We would like to share with you 2 specific points that are of note - as follows:
1. We are continually encouraged by the steady progress that our microfinance beneficiaries are making. Loan repayments are on schedule for the majority and the funds have introduced income stability and progress.
2. The Bo women's group of recipients are working together as a team - more than we have ever experienced before. Typically, the beneficiaries meet periodically to discuss progress - but the Bo group is a lot more cohesive. They existed as a group before funding and have continued to be self-supporting - chipping in and helping each other through cycles of labor need.
During my visit in May, I observed them at work together, as they helped fill packets of water. They also spend time regularly discussing progress, issues and challenges. This approach has helped them succeed in the midst of a "tight" economy. This is a key improvement opportunity that we are sharing with other beneficiaries. Team work does make a difference. As the saying goes - this group, united is standing strong.
Worldwide, we are all a part of this team as we have significantly contributed through our donations to their success. Their success is our success and we celebrate and thank you for your on-going support.
Meet Catherine: Catherine is a hardworking mother of one child, who is now in the university. Apart from her only child Catherine also has other mouths to feed. She is responsible for the maintenance of her household.
Catherine is a fishmonger (smoked fish) and has been in this business for over 15 years. She gets her commodity from the fishing communities in the Bo environs. The sale of her business is slow and she makes a profit of about $36 per month, which is not sufficient to expand her business and take care of her home. Catherine needed microfinance funds to expand and diversify her business to maximise profit, which she can plough back into the business for sustainability as well as being able to take good care of her children.
Catherine is very grateful to Develop Africa and GlobalGiving for supporting her with microfinance to enhance her business and improve the standard of living of her family. Through providing micro-credit or micro finance funds, we are together improving the standard of living of families, one family at a time.
We would also be deeply grateful if you could consider signing up for a recurring donation of $10.00 or more monthly. This would be a tremendous support as we invest into the lives of these families in Africa. Thanks friends for your on-going support!
We are delighted to be able to share with you a video testimonial from Peter, one of the microfinance beneficiaries that has been impacted by the funds you have provided. Be sure to click on the link - Video Testimonial - Peter .
Peter explains in the video that because of the training and the growth of his business, he is now able to provide for himself and his family of 5 children. He says additionally: "Well its really helped me and because of that help I can now teach others on how to run a business." In other words, the impact of the training that you have helped provide, is being multiplied when he shares his knowledge with other people. During additional training sessions that we have held, Peter has shared his experience and valuable lessons learned with new beneficiaries. Thanks to you his business continue to grow and each cycle he qualifies for a new, larger loan.
Peter rounds up the video with the following words: "For Develop Africa, Globalgiving and other donor and partners, I do not even know how to begin to express my appreciation. We appreciate everything their goodness and all they do for us - because they do not know us and yet they have gone to so much trouble to help us. They have contributed greatly to our success. They help our children and family as well. I pray God blesses them and their families and continue to provide for them more and more in whatever they do."
Peter could not have sent it better and we echo his appreciation to you, our Globalgiving donors. We deeply appreciate your past and on-going support - as we plan towards a new session that will take place in February or March. Please take a few minutes to make a donation today that will help us impact many more lives. Thanks for your support - and please share this with your friends.
Cordially and best wishes
Warm greetings from the Develop Africa Team
Each new day we are excited about the impact we are making together. We are delighted to provide you with this field update:
A total number of fifteen (15) beneficiaries are currently enrolled in the microfinance /micro credit scheme. This scheme has been of tremendous helping parents to support their families and meet additional costs of education. Here's a heart-warming testimonial from one of the female beneficiaries, Monday Bangura.
Monday Bangura is a new, female microfinance beneficiary who joined the scheme in January this year. Monday has three children and her husband is a temporary vehicle driver. More often than not he is without a job. Christiana, Monday’s eldest child is a beneficiary of Develop Africa's scholarship scheme.
In her own words: "I had difficulty providing daily school lunch for Christiana as well as taking care of the other children out of the meager proceeds of peanuts sale I was engaged in. The microfinance support has helped me to expand my business, generate more income and enroll my second child in school. I am very grateful to GlobalGiving and Develop Africa for your support. Indeed, you have restored my dignity and self-esteem in the community. I can now send my children to school with enough food to eat. I thank you very much”.
Thanks donors for helping to restore her dignity and self-esteem. The impact of your donations is powerful and priceless!
Let's impact many more lives together.... We invite you to make a donation today or be sure to include us in your end-of-year-giving plans.
Our very best wishes
“The teaching was excellent...”
This was one of the feedback comments received at the end of the three-day training session which took place in Freetown, Sierra Leone (21st–23rd January, 2010). The training included teaching sessions, engaging in practical manufacturing, buying and selling exercises, steps in developing a business plan, reviewing the petty cash book etc. The training helped them appreciate their own strengths and weaknesses and to build the critical business skills they need to ensure the success in their enterprise.
Training also focused on providing essential business principles and perspectives such as: • The eight principles of working together • How to accept each others views and arrive at a win/win situation • Embracing change • The 4 cunning behaviors that may lead to failure • The 10 personal entrepreneurial competencies
EVALUATION: Feedback from the participants was as follows:
• The teaching was excellent. • We made new friends – the other beneficiaries • The training was very necessary to start do a business • The patience of the facilitator in teaching • Different ideas on business • The food and venue • The experience sharing session.
What did you gain from the Workshop?
• The fun and company of all. • Experiencing new ideas • Encouragement to run the business well. • Friendship • Learning to take note of business ideas, skills and problems experienced in our daily business life. • How to estimate Budget and Develop a Business Plan • The 8 Principles of working together • The 4 cunning behaviors • The Personal Entrepreneurial Competencies and examples given to explain them better.
What is your wish?
• To get success in business • To put loan into good practice. • God’s guidance and blessing for Develop Africa. • Loan to be doubled. • The group remains committed. • Good health and strength to manage the business.
Below is a link to a video from one of the Microfinance beneficiaries. In this video, Rugiatu, one of Develop Africa's Microfinance beneficiary’s expresses her profound gratitude to donors and God for providing funds that she has used to expand her business. Rugiatu is a single mother of three children, living in Freetown Sierra Leone. Her business is food preparation and sales - usually rice and a soup / sauce. She was one of the pioneers of Develop Africa's Microfinance and business training program.
Thanks you for your continued support. We welcome your feedback. Please share this report with your friends through email, Facebook, etc.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well … a video has got to be worth so much more…
I had the opportunity to personally visit the businesses of our microfinance beneficiaries during my field trip earlier this year. During the trip the beneficiaries asked me to bring back and convey their deep appreciation to you – our GlobalGiving donors, partners and team.
We are excited to share with you a video – a testimonial from one of the Microfinance beneficiaries. In this video, she explains how she has benefited from the training and funds provided by Develop Africa. She explains that she has strategically implemented the practical training and coaching that she received. This has helped her grow her business.
*** Click on the link below called - "Watch Video - Microfinance Testimonial" to see video on Youtube.com
Empowerment of women critical to the development of Africa. Together we have empowered several women. This is heart-warming and transformational. Thanks for playing a part in their empowerment and the development of Africa.
How do you think we can work together to attract wider support? We welcome your comments and feedback.
Can you join us in empowering the lives of many more women? Our next training session starts in January / February 2010 and we welcome your support that would help us empower several more women. Please make a donation today, before the end of the year. Thanks for your support!
“A heart-warming experience that left me feeling influential!” There is no better way to summarize the way I felt during my recent trip to Sierra Leone in May. I had the opportunity to meet and visit the beneficiaries of our Microfinance program.
Fatmata Katta, one of the female beneficiaries said to me: “I am grateful to you for bringing this program because if you did not come to help us, some of us would have simply been selling without strategy.” The training provided at the start of the program has helped her to better plan and also act as a distributor, expanding her business.
As I visited the beneficiaries, made suggestions and offered business advice, I realized that our joint efforts together were making a significant difference in their individual lives and businesses. The results and difference were undeniable. Through our efforts, we are definitely changing their lives and helping them to become self-sufficient. It was a humbling moment and I felt so influential.
As you read this report, I hope you will feel “influential” too – because you have truly helped turn their lives around. I hope this thought will make my day – as it did mine!
Thanks donors for your on-going support! We all realize the value of being self sufficient and financial independence. By providing business training and microfinance, we have together helped establish a proven path to their self-sufficiency.
Additional details about, pictures and a full report on my field trip are available from the Site Visit Report link below.
We would appreciate your feedback and hearing from you. Please feel free to contact us at any time.
Your continued support is also appreciated. Please consider making an additional donation today or signing up for recurring donations. This would help us impact many more lives. Always remember – “you are influential!”
The United Nations in this newspaper article talks about the need for Microfinance. This directly confirms the need for this project in Sieraa Leone.
Director General of the United Nation Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella has called for micro finance investment for youth in the Mano River Union (MRU) countries, especially Sierra Leone. He made this pronouncement on Thursday 8th January 2009 at a press briefing held in the Conference Room of the Ministry of Information and Communication, Youyi Building in Freetown.
"For Sierra Leone to develop, it needs a lot of investment," he stated..."
Please click on the link to read more...