The Need: Women that have been raped, kidnapped or fled forced marriages and conversions are often seen as outcasts, not marriageable material and are deeply humiliated by this traumatic experience. They are stigmatized and relegated to the fringes of society. Condemned to a life of isolation or hiding because of what has happened to them, they suffer from PTSD and are afraid to ask for support for fear of further condemnation. As a woman without any support in this society it is hard to survive. They are forced to rely on the compassion of family or the church, and many live in poverty making them vulnerable to further abuse. In addition, the constant threats of poverty and persecution greatly affect their ability to go to school or participate in normal life.
The Solution: This transformational small business project to combat poverty and persecution benefits minority women and girls who are at risk or have been either kidnapped, raped, forced into marriages and/or to convert and leave their faith. The project has been running since 2019 and continues into 2021, in parts of Egypt where the levels of persecution are some of the highest in the country.
Livelihoods enable these women and girls to combat poverty and have a degree of autonomy. This in turns decreases the risk associated with poverty, and vulnerability to further abuse. Women trained to work in business are equipped with valuable and sustainable skills. These skills are a vital resource, providing and empowering security for their lives, health, education and employment. In turn this makes them less vulnerable due to dependency on others to further abuse. Women are given a grant opportunity to start a small business. The businesses range from livestock rearing, kiosk markets, sheet making, bakeries, salons and similar. They will receive livestock or produce/supplies to get the business up and running and training & support; which will include practical transferable business skills. The project works in close cooperation with local faith-based community-based organizations to mobilize support and encourage cultural changes in societal thinking toward abuse survivors.
This project has been active since 2019.
Your investment into the life of a women or girl at risk will:
IMPACT1: Create livelihoods for religious minorities to combat poverty and persecution
IMPACT 2: Empowering women with lasting and transferable business skills
IMPACT3: Build community networks to support women and girls at risk