Economic health is critical for any thriving community. Mwanzo encourages the creativity and entrepreneurial efforts of the people in Rabuor and its neighboring villages by building collective capacities through a unique “micro enterprise” approach.
We work with the community to enhance financial self-sufficiency in two ways: through micro businesses and enterprises, and with a collective village savings and loan (VSL) network. The VSL is a self-administered program where members receive training to successfully borrow money and grow their local businesses. Clustered groups of members reinvest profits from their business ventures into the VSL program so that more members can borrow and start their unique businesses. The groups are women-centric, and most of the businesses are also developed and operated by women.
Mwanzo is committed to supporting these efforts, and offers the technical and administrative expertise and assistance needed to bring these projects into reality. We seek public and private partnerships in order to develop and enhance the technical skills of community members. The enterprises that are supported through this program are chosen by the community, with careful regard given to community needs and traditions. A recently funded micro enterprise project provides solar lamps and tents for community events, such as funerals.
Currently, we are developing chicken husbandry within the Rabuor, Bur Lowo, and Kawango communities. In addition to the profit generated from chickens and eggs, this enterprise brings other improvements to these communities. The risk of losing all hens at once to a zoonotic outbreak has been mitigated by spreading the coops across several locations. Most importantly, this project reduces the health risks posed by chickens living inside the home with families whose health may already be compromised.