By Søren Schriver, Member of the Board in WAWCAS International, Head of Funding
Obviously, it may be found quite provocative to make a statement like that, when you are the person responsible for raising more than 1.5 million kr. a year for WAWCAS, but I have just visited Nepal for a couple of days, where I met 25 strong women, who had just finished their 16 months of training – meanwhile experiencing earthquakes every few weeks. These women now own their own little businesses, and their children go to school.
We know from experience that, on average, 24 of the businesses will still be running well in five years – an they will probably also do so in ten years time. The cost of helping one woman to become self-supported is 3,000 kr. – that is all it takes for WAWCAS to train the woman for 16 months and for providing her with a loan that will enable her to start-up her business – and by those means a sustainable business is created. That is something a sponsor would like to support.
Look at the wonderful woman above. Everyday she rides the bus for three hours, just to pick up some bananas that are marginally fresher than the other bananas that will be sold at the market. Her little business is doing really well.
The money we receive from our sponsors must be used optimally. Included in our program is the ‘education’ of our trainers, including e.g. knowledge on business operations. In connection to this, I am arranging a one-day-course for the trainers to learn about investment; how can one figure out what is a good investment for the women? That could include anything from a fridge, a grinder or a mould. Moreover, that one-day-course should also include some training on how to plan a good cash-flow, which should help to ensure that the women maintain their independence. This is a very important issue for both the trainers and the women, and it is indeed important for WAWCAS too.
So yes! With results like those WAWCAS is showing is Nepal, it IS a rewarding job to raise funds.
Our most recent agreement on funding has been signed by Ole Kirk’s Fond. Ole Kirk’s Fond has agreed to donate a generous amount to WAWCAS over the next two years. We are very pleased with this agreement, which helps to ensure that WAWCAS has a strong economic foundation for maintaining our activities in Nepal, and thus, help many more women to become independent.