Monday, February 25, 2013

EPN Featured in Report from Gonzaga University!

We recently were contacted by Dr. Mark Alfino, a professor at Gonzaga University and co-director with Dr. Susan Norwood of a study-abroad program that brings Gonzaga students to Benin in August each year to study the culture of Benin and sustainable development. They are experts in the field, having done a variety of work over the 7 years of the program, including a successful water filtration program, health education, and community support for a village palm oil project. Last year, they began documenting outcomes for farm interns from the Songhai Centre in Porto Novo, and last summer, they visited two farms of EPN loan recipients, Elvire and Rebecca


We were thrilled when Dr. Alfino sent us a report they had written about Elvire and Rebecca's farms. He wrote, "With training and knowledge from Songhai and financial support from Eliminate Poverty Now, Elvie and [her husband] Abeguedo have a chance that only a few farmers in Benin have-- to become rural entrepreneurs." 

The entire report really captures the project so well, and we decided to share it so that you can really get an idea of exactly how Elvire, Rebecca, and other women like them who receive loans from EPN through Songhai are being helped by YOU, our amazing and generous donors! We hope you enjoy it, as well as the amazing photos Dr. Alfino also gave us from his visit.

Elvie and Rebecca by Dr. Mark Alfino

Monday, February 18, 2013

Four more women start businesses, thanks to our Songhai Women's Capital Fund

A second group of four young women who graduated from Songhai in June 2012 have had their business plans approved! They will be able to start these businesses thanks to funding from Eliminate Poverty Now. As promised, we are so pleased to take this opportunity to introduce you to four women who are benefiting directly from your support and generosity: Geneviève Aniwanou, Rudiana Djossou, Alice Agonse, and Rebecca Agossou.


Geneviève is 23 years old and is starting her own business farm. Her project has two main parts: crop production with a focus on vegetables, and food processing with a focus on pastry. Her farm is located at Lokossa, in the southwest part of Benin.


21 year old Rudiana spent her 18 months of training in the various areas of the integrated system of production, and has now decided to set up her own farm. The major activities she would like to start with are aquaculture (tilapias) and crops (market gardening). Her farm is located at Djeregbe, in the surrounding areas of Porto-Novo.


Alice is 26 years old. As soon as she ended her training at Songhai, she submitted her project to enable her to start with commercial soap manufacturing and a vegetable garden. Her farm is located at Bohicon, in the center part of the Benin Republic.


The youngest loan recipient is 18 year-old Rebecca, who learned all of the techniques in agricultural activities during her time at Songhai, and is now able to run a farm. She has chosen to focus on gardening and soap making. Her farm is established at Pahou, about 30 km from Cotonou.

We believe that all of these young women have remarkable potential, and wish them all the success in the world as they start their businesses and work to apply all that they learned in their time at Songhai. We are so proud that, with your help, we are able to support them as they pursue their dreams!