Helping Women Graduate from Extreme Poverty
The BOMA Project is a U.S. nonprofit and Kenyan NGO that implements a unique gender-focused two-year poverty graduation program in the arid lands of eastern Africa. The Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) replaces aid with sustainable income and helps women to graduate from extreme poverty by giving them the tools they need to start small businesses in their communities and become self-reliant. With this new and diversified source of income, they can feed their families and access better sources of nutrition, pay for school fees and medical care, accumulate savings for long-term stability, survive drought, and adapt to a changing climate. In a comprehensive 2016 graduation exit evaluation, after two years in the program, 94% of women have graduated from extreme poverty; 98% of women have savings; and there is an 81% decrease in the number of children going to bed without an evening meal, a remarkable success rate. Since 2009, BOMA has impacted more than 86,000 mothers and children, with a goal of 100,000 by 2018, and 1 million by 2021.