International Women's Day // Giving Back to Women in Ethiopia

International Women's Day // Giving Back to Women in Ethiopia

Posted by Eliza Bellock on 7th Mar 2017

To celebrate International Women's Day, we are matching all sales with a donation towards the seed capital needed for ten women in Ethiopia to start their own small businesses. Raven + Lily is matching every sale on Wednesday, March 8th, with a donation to these women. 


Raven + Lily currently works with Tirzah International, a global network of change agents helping women build beautiful lives, families and communities in the face of injustice. Tirzah partners with women leaders in their own nations to combat poverty, exclusion from education, modern-day slavery, HIV/AIDS, and violence against women and girls. The Women's Empowerment Program (WEP), Tirzah's partner program in Ethiopia, focuses on women living with HIV/AIDS and invests in them by providing business training so these women can earn income for their families. 

For International Women's Day, Raven + Lily is providing the funding for ten of these Ethiopian women in the Women's Empowerment Program to empower themselves and start a small business. 


Each of these women is in a Self-Help Group, within the Women's Empowerment Program (WEP). The Self-Help Groups meet weekly, save funds, and develop the women's leadership skills. In addition to each group having a secretary and treasurer, there is also a position of a leader that rotates so each women is empowered with leadership skills. In addition to receiving training on business skills, these women also receive medical check-ups at their local health center, covered by donations through the WEP. For many women, this will be the only check-up they have ever received. 


Tigist* is one of the women in the current program. She lives on Entoto Mountain with her daughter. Tigists husband left them many years ago. As she was not educated, she is illiterate and did not have the means to provide for herself and her daughter. Tigist shared with program staff that, prior to entering the Womens Empowerment Program, she had nothing and her monthly income was $6 USD to $9 USD per month.

After being accepted into the Women’s Empowerment Program, Tigist was given seed capital to start up her own business. She now sells vegetables and her monthly income has increased to $35 to $44 USD. “This is a transition period for me from nothing to something tangible and I am planning to expand and diversify my business.” Tigist's favorite food is raw tomato with lemon and salt. Her future plan is to expand her business and diversify and open up a fruit and vegetable shop.

*name has been changed.