Can you imagine it? The entire world is in fear of this unknown virus that is killing millions. The cities are in lock-down. You’ve already been struggling to provide food and basic needs for you family. Steady work is hard to find. And when you get home, your disabled child needs your assistance. We’re entering summer months with the heat increasing quickly. The sheet metal walls and roof just traps the heat inside. We are all so uncomfortable and the hunger is increasing. Now, with this lockdown, earning money to pay for food and basic needs is near impossible. But PRAISE GOD!!! He hears our cries and He provides!

At the peak of Covid-19, you, our AWESOME donors, provided emergency food relief for numerous families throughout Kenya, Rwanda and DR of Congo. One of the areas was Ngando, a slum area near the Nairobi office. Food was delivered for a group of women all struggling to feed their families. Florah, the project manager in our Nairobi office, has been diligent to follow up with the group of women from Ngando. While the food provided a much needed relief and the blessing was beyond what words can describe, it was not a long term solution to their hardships. Some of the ladies have disabled children with a forever need of assistance, and lately a few of them had their houses demolished by reclaimers in the aftermath of the Covid-19 lockdowns. In this time of hardship, Florah has encouraged and worked with a group of 9 women, who have now formed Wamama wa Talanta (“Women of Talent”), the newest members of the Women’s empowerment program.

Florah has led 3 meetings with the group since August in efforts to familiarize themselves with one another and with TLAfrica. In these formative stages, their meetings are mainly focused around Bible studies and discussing how to manage startup administrative requirements, e.g. registration, bank account, savings, thinking of a group project. Coming together through the Bible study has been a foundational support system to brave the tough times together, encouraging and helping each other through the Word and fellowship.

On Saturday 10th October, Florah hosted a seminar for them, themed ‘Team Spirit’. The seminar was a half-day event with keynote speaker, Margaret (a local missionary experienced in finance for women). It was an inspirational time full of worship, prayer and development. The group is still working on a unified business plan that they can collaborate on. The leading project ideas at the moment are beadwork and selling clothes. Their deadline for the decision is mid-November. Once they decide on a project, they will work together to write a business plan for profit and repayment in order to submit their application for a microloan from WEP. 

The WEP microloans has been a successful program in providing transformation for hundreds of women and their families throughout all 3 countries that TLAfrica is operating in. The women receive small-business and finance training, learn a skill, and spiritual formation and leadership training. They are mentored to become leaders in their communities by living as a witness to others. The microloans to begin the program range from $50 per individual to up to $1000 for a group of women. The amount may vary based on their project plans. They are required to pay a “good faith” deposit and then the remaining amount is repaid within 1 year of the loan, plus interest which is recycled into another microloan for the next group of women. TLAfrica currently has 3 active groups, 4 groups paid off their loans in 2020, and 3 new projects are forming, including the conversion of the tailoring school in Musanze, RW into a WEP sustainability project.