Prolonged droughts, lack of land, or insecure land tenure exacerbate the problems that rural families living in extreme poverty face. Often men migrate to other countries in search of jobs. Women and children are left behind to fend for themselves, but with few opportunities.
Las Chabelitas assists women in eight villages in the department of Matagalpa to improve their lives and their economic conditions. With Kenoli support, the organization, provided business skills training, set up a community revolving fund, provided support for nearly 60 family gardens and assisted the women to make improvements to their homes. The results are impressive!
With the help of Las Chabelitas, the women developed a comprehensive policy and regulations for the revolving funds. The women, who previously had no opportunities, established their own micro-enterprises and learned how to manage them. Some are: growing and selling vegetables at local markets, selling homemade food, rehabilitating coffee plots, and buying and selling used clothes. In addition, those that now have family gardens are learning to cook and eat healthier.
As the women became more involved, they successfully advocated to the municipality for an improved road and better health initiatives. The women have become more empowered and are improving the quality of their families’ lives! These are changes that they could not have dreamed of before.