Joybelle Barlow - Clothed in Hope Project

Joybelle Barlow - Clothed in Hope Project

From Joybelle Barlow

I am partnering with Clothed in Hope to develop a data collection system for their microfinance program, training a Zambian staff member to use the program and collect surveys during my visit in the fall.

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Clothed in Hope (CiH) is a non-profit organization with three locations throughout Zambia, a landlocked country in southern Africa. CiH is dedicated to empowering and educating women through a one-year training program in sewing and tailoring, business management, and health education. After completing the program, graduates can apply for micro-loans to start  their own business. They are partnered with a local, established business owner to walk them through the entrepreneurial process.

These micro-loans assist CiH graduates in launching independent, sustainable businesses. Since the program began, over 75 women have received micro-loans with a 100% repayment rate. While the micro-loan program is transforming lives, the  CiH staff do not have any strategy in place for measuring and evaluating the program’s positive impact.

Over the past few months, I have been working with Amy to draft a data collection system to monitor the micro-loan program’s success on a quantitative basis, from percentage increase in income to improved lifestyle changes. I will be traveling to Zambia in September to implement this system on the ground, training a Zambian staff member to use the program and collect surveys during home visits in the fall. In order to fly over and implement the system, I need to  raise $3,900 for the flight, lodging, and transportation in country.

I am excited for the opportunity God has provided in allowing me to partner with CiH, empowering vulnerable women across the globe to provide for their children, put a roof over their heads, and improve their overall quality of life.

Over a year ago I sat down for coffee and was invited to be a part of a story much bigger than myself. Would you join me in “breaking the cycle of poverty, one stitch” -- and one loan -- at a time?

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