The Boma Project
Rating: 4.94 stars 36 reviews
Issues: Food, International, Economic Development, Microfinance
Location: PO Box 1865 7272 Main Street, Suite A Manchester Center VT 05255 USA
Results: Since 2008, BOMA has launched 1,380 businesses across Northern Kenya, changing the lives of 4,668 women who support more than 23,400 children. Our goal is to lift 100,000 women and children out of extreme poverty within five years.
Target demographics: Women living in extreme poverty in Northern Kenya. When we begin working with them, 99 percent of BOMA entrepreneurs live on less than $2.50 per day (the poverty line), while 88 percent live on less than $1.25 per day (the extreme poverty line).
Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,200 women (400 businesses per year, three women per business)
Geographic areas served: Laisamis, Loiyangalani, Marsabit and Samburu Districts of Northern Kenya.
Programs: Our cornerstone program, the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP), provides a seed capital grant, business skills and savings training, and two years of hands-on mentoring by local BOMA Village Mentors to business groups of three women. Once businesses are established and earning profits, we help them to assemble committed savings associations for business expansion and individual interest-bearing loans.
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I've worked a bit in the developing world (mostly on the social side of environmental conservation) and it's really difficult to step back from your own agenda and serve those communities with what THEY need. We've worked with BOMA for about a year now -- and learned their programs inside and out -- and not only is their work truly different in the world of rural economic development but their success rate is astounding and measured in terms that unapologetically put the impact in communities they serve ahead of all other measures.
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