Seeds of Africa Empowers Parents
Seeds of Africa operates not only as a center for education, but also for community development. While Seeds offers educational services for children, they also look for opportunities to assist the entire families of the students they serve. Many of these families have a household income of less than $50 per month, and lack the necessary skills to lift themselves out of poverty. Seeds believes that they can help the parents of their students develop the skills to start their own small businesses, ultimately providing financial stability to benefit entire families and communities.
Adult literacy courses are the first step in the community development strategy. After learning to read and write, the parents are offered entrepreneurial classes that teach them the basics of creating and running a business: record keeping, separation of business money from household money, thinking proactively about new or underserved markets, reinvesting profits, and developing a business plan. After this course, each individual has the opportunity to take what they have learned and develop their own business plan, with support from staff that is trained locally. Microloans are then awarded to the adults who have successfully completed all of these steps so that they can put their plan into action.
Recently, one mother of a Seeds student received a loan to diversify her business. She now operates a coffee and tea stand, trades and sells women’s clothing, and sells butter. Her profits have already allowed her to pay back her loan to Seeds, buy new clothes for her children, and even contribute to a savings group. Her business has grown tremendously and her confidence has soared.
Seeds of Africa’s unique approach to community development reaches both children and adults and provides both groups with skills to sustain a bright future and break the cycle of poverty. Seeds has faith in all of its students, from preschool to parenthood. They have identified the needs of students and parents and developed solutions to help people help themselves. A small investment in a family who has been deprived of economic opportunities can go an incredibly long way, and can empower entire communities.