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African Moms Escape Poverty with their Children in Tow

Daate Inyakh is now running her own business thanks to a business grant from BOMA Project.

Daate Inyakh is now running her own shop thanks to a business grant from BOMA Project.

As the sole provider for her family, Daate Inyakh of northern Kenya once struggled to feed her six daughters. She was one of the ultra-poor women living in drought-threatened arid areas who believed she would never leave her life of poverty. But since September 2014, when she received a business grant and training from The BOMA Project, an Aid for Africa member, Inyakh’s children have never slept hungry again.

Inyakh and her business partners now run a small duka, or shop, in Logologo, Kenya. In her free time she attends adult education classes to learn how to read and write. Her dream is for all six of her daughters to complete school and get good jobs.

“One thing I like about BOMA,” said Inyakh, “is that it has empowered us with knowledge. This has been an eye-opening experience for me – I never knew I was capable of running a business and now I am excelling.”

The women with whom BOMA works live at or below the poverty line, which is $2.50 a day. Most of them–88 percent–earn less than $1.25 a day and live in extreme poverty.

The BOMA Project’s approach to ending extreme poverty is transformative: Upon exiting BOMA’s two-year program, BOMA participants report a 90 percent increase in household spending on food, a 132 percent increase on education, and a 195 percent increase on medical care.

BOMA is one of four nonprofits worldwide to pass a rigorous “impact audit” conducted by ImpactMatters, a new organization led by Yale economist Dean Karlan, founded with the goal of helping donors identify nonprofits that offer the best return on charitable dollars. ImpactMatters assesses nonprofits in four key areas: cost-effectiveness, transparency, knowledge sharing, and “theory of change,” or how well the organization accomplishes its mission.

Since 2009, BOMA has lifted more than 56,000 women and children out of extreme poverty, launched almost 3,000 small businesses, and established more than 500 savings group. BOMA’s goal is to double the number of women and children lifted out of extreme poverty to 100,000 by 2018.

No doubt Daate Inyakh will be cheering BOMA on.

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Want to see how BOMA does it? Watch the video

Want to learn more? Read Is it Possible to “Graduate” from Poverty?