Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Songhai Women's Capital Fund #1

       Reine Kouton

Reine knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue a career in agriculture. At the age of 16 she entered the training program at Songhai where she learned how to raise chickens and make soap commercially.

In Benin, where chickens normally roam free and eat garbage or whatever scraps they can find, actually raising chickens is a revolutionary concept, and Reine plans on expanding her chicken business from simply selling chickens to eat to producing eggs, a much needed protein throughout Benin. 

   Reine is an ambitious woman planning to enter into the world of vegetable production. She wants to grow peppers, lettuce, and leafy vegetables commonly used in sauces. All are very rare in the Dowa area so Reine will be creating a new niche in the market to meet the increasing demand for vegetables. The best part is that Reine envisions an integrated system, using the waste from her chickens to improve the soil and increase yields.

In 10 years I hope Benin will have a women president. Women are the ones working up steadily from their old roles in the home and we own lots of businesses in Benin. This is just the beginning for us. If women can keep improving their lives, Benin will develop too."

We hope you'll take some time to watch this video of Reine from our visit to the Songhai Centre. It's in French, it's lengthy, and there's a translator off screen. But when we edit it, it loses too much of her strength of spirit. Even if you only spend a few minutes listening to Reine tell her story, we know you'll get a sense of her spirit and personality. 

Join us in supporting Songhai and women like Reine by visiting our Donate page.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Farmers of the Future--An Introductory Video


We've had some professional help producing a new video about Farmers of the Future. Please take a few minutes to look at it. And let us know what you think--we hope you like it as much as we do!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Little Rock Scholars #1: Meet Jane

     Little Rock Scholars- Jane

A much better photo of Jane where her beautiful spirit shines
Jane is an intelligent, articulate, spiritual fifteen-year-old girl.  Her inspiration comes from God, from her parents, from her siblings, from Little Rock Early Childhood Development Center.

We met her – along with other candidates for the Little Rock Scholars program – in a classroom lit only by natural light. The photo doesn’t do justice to what a beautiful young woman she is. We wish you could see how expressive her face and hands are – and how amazingly articulate and inspiring she is.

“My parents did not finish school and people call them names, which really makes me sad. I would like to be a well-known doctor. I pray I will not die young so that I can     work hard and take my parents out of this slum. I know what is waiting for me in the  future. I know it will happen. We must work hard to achieve our goals and dreams.”     

We have no doubt that given the opportunities and resources she deserves, she will do all she dreams of.

She WILL become a well-known doctor.
She WILL take her parents out of the slum.

It would be a privilege to send Jane to secondary school.
She WILL change the world.

You can help by clicking

Thursday, May 10, 2012

EPN Receives NetSuite Gift

We have exciting news!

Eliminate Poverty Now is the recipient of a NetSuite grant worth $22,000! This high-powered business software will allow us to manage out finances, donor database and e-commerce. Everything is integrated, so information--whether it is a donation, a grant, or an expense--only needs to get entered once, and is then fed into the other reports and databases that we'll need it for. All of this means that we will be able to do a better job of maintaining up-to-date information, as well as being able to analyze and report it faster. It should also help us in terms of building relationships with our generous and gracious donors!

This gift saves us from having to buy a software package (which would not have been nearly as powerful since the value of this NetSuite award is more than we could have spent ourselves), and it will also save time and energy. As EPN has grown, so has our need for this kind of system. With this software, EPN will be more efficient and organized, which can only lead to bigger and better things for our projects.

We are so honored that NetSuite chose us, and we are looking forward to being on the other side of the implementation process and reaping the advantages of a professional, integrated financial/donor management system.