CARE International, a leading humanitarian NGO focused on poverty alleviation, has completed its POWER Africa project, which was aimed at increasing financial inclusion for 480,000 poor, food insecure individuals and their households in rural and peri-urban areas in Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Côte d’Ivoire.
POWER Africa, which stands for Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Rural Africa, was anchored around CARE’s Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) methodology and a suite of layered trainings geared toward entrepreneurship and business management.
Using CARE’s methodology, the project surpassed its target, reaching over 750,000 households. The project worked with local organizations and government to form, train, and link VSLA groups to financial service providers, mobile network operators and markets.
The project placed a major emphasis on data collection, monitoring, and learning and POWER Africa has yielded significant learning across a wide variety of topics that enabled CARE to better design and target programming to reach youth, food insecure, and women headed households across multiple contexts.
“CARE worked with local organizations and Government to form, train, and link Village Savings and Loan Association groups to financial service providers, mobile network operators and markets,” the organization said in a statement issued on May 21st, 2018.
Following the success of its initiative, CARE’s POWER Africa Project is set to host a Learning Event on Friday, May 25th, 2018 in Rwanda’s capital of Kigali.
The session will share findings and lessons from POWER Africa. It will be geared towards practitioners, financial service providers, donors and supporting organizations who want to understand what worked, what didn’t and how this can be used to inform current and future programmes.
The affair will discuss youth livelihoods, focusing on adolescent girls in Burundi; designing gender equality considerations into financial inclusion programming; resiliency learning in Ethiopia and Burundi; as well as processes and impacts of linking VSLA groups to formal financial service providers and mobile network operators