Every month the group meets, and each of its 12 members contribute 50 Rupees (58p) to a group savings account. Each member then has the chance to take out a loan, allowing them to invest in the tools they need to earn an income and grow more food.
In receiving this loan, the women are being given an opportunity. For the first time they are able to shape their own futures and together, take action together to combat hunger and poverty.
Malawians are currently suffering the effects of El Niño – a complex weather phenomenon that brings severe drought, and with it, crop failure and hunger.
On 12th April 2016, the Malawian government declared a national state of disaster.
But thanks to your support, the farmers that Find Your Feet work with are now able to prepare for and endure unpredictable weather conditions.
At the heart of all of Find Your Feet’s work is partnership.
We work in partnership with local organisations, and we work in partnership with local people, providing opportunities for them to make their voices heard. We ask the people we support to help us understand their needs, and allow their opinions to shape the work we do.
They farm the land, gather produce from the forest, go to market, rear livestock, bring up children and maintain the family home. Yet Adivasi women are not equally represented in community discussion and local decision making.
Find Your Feet has been working in Talamai’s village since 2009, helping to set up support groups for local women. The support groups provide training and information on public services, and support local women to lobby for their rights.
One of the Find Your Feet team, Lynn, has just visited Zimbabwe to meet some of the families we work with to grow more food, earn more income and to speak out against injustice.
It’s World Hunger Day on 28th May. This year, speaking out against hunger and injustice is even more important. Southern Africa is in the grip of a severe El Niño-induced drought. As a result, in Zimbabwe half of the country's rural population will need assistance by next year with rain not expected for several months. Already, nearly five million people are facing food shortages.
We know that there can be no such thing as sustainable development without the voices of women and girls.
The new Sustainable Development Goals recognise the importance of achieving gender equality if we are to reduce poverty. Attempts to meet the needs of women and girls through development programmes have led to improvements in recent years; laws to protect women’s rights have been enacted in many countries, more girls go to school and female life expectancy has increased for example.
But the reality is that gender inequality is still alive and well. Across the world billions of women and girls still face discrimination, poverty and violence just because of their gender.
Two members of our team, Hannah and Sherona, recently visited Nepal to meet some of the families that we work with. On meeting a local women’s group in Baijapur, they asked if any of the women would be happy to share their story, to take back to Find Your Feet’s supporters in the UK. Mina’s hand shot straight up.
Find Your Feet is helping pregnant women in India to demand their right to essential medical care. Beronika lives in an extremely poor and remote village in Jharkhand, India, where healthcare is very limited. When she found out she was pregnant, she knew that both the pregnancy and the birth could be dangerous, and she faced months of uncertainty and worry.
Find Your Feet started working in Beronika's village in 2014, engaging local people and providing them with information on the government services available to them. Beronika had been unaware that she was entitled to free medical care from the government. Thanks to Find Your Feet she had the opportunity to acccess the care she needed, and in the summer of this year she gave birth, in a hospital, to a healthy baby girl named Meenu.