PCI RECEIVES GIFT TO ACCELERATE EXPANSION OF WOMEN EMPOWERED (WE) INITIATIVE MICRO-SAVINGS PROGRAM

Gift from Hapke Family Foundation will enhance program’s achievements to support the expansion of 500 women’s groups in Africa

SAN DIEGO, CA (May 21, 2014) — PCI (Project Concern International) recently received a generous $100,000 gift from the Hapke Family Foundation to expand and enhance achievements under the Women Empowered (WE) Initiative, a proven and evidence-based model of social and economic advancement for women. This gift will enable PCI to support increasing impact for an additional 10,000 women in 500 Women Empowered savings and social empowerment groups in Africa.

Of the amount given, $50,000 will support new African WE groups’ 18-month life cycle, including the stipends paid to local facilitators, ongoing training and technical support for the objectives and methodologies of WE, facilitation and management of process, and data collection and evaluation.

The remaining $50,000 will be used to make critical program improvements through two new part-time staff positions. One position will focus on enhancing the current community engagement strategy, while the other will assist in the collection and analysis of data accumulated using PCI’s innovative measurement tool, the Lives Changed Indices (LCI), to measure and identify the financial and social impact of the WE groups.

“We recognize the impact that the Women Empowered Initiative has on the lives and families of women in developing countries where PCI works and are happy to invest in a program that is proving its success. Women are truly becoming emboldened to change their lives through WE and we look forward to seeing results of the expansion of WE into other communities,” shared Valerie Jacobs, Chair of the Hapke Family Foundation (who serves along with her husband Norm, their son Andrew and their daughter Claire). She added, “We believe it’s also important to invest in the infrastructure to support and improve this fine program.”

Initiated in 2011, the WE Initiative is a groundbreaking economic and social empowerment model that gives impoverished women more control over their future.  PCI believes that women are the solution to poverty, poor health and vulnerability and through WE, women can create social and economic empowerment for themselves, their families and their communities.

Through self-funded, self-managed and self-sustained savings groups, women receive the tools, training and resources so that they can lift themselves and their families out of poverty and inspire change in their communities. WE addresses women’s lack of power over household assets and income, and gaps in financing for poor female entrepreneurs.

By organizing women into groups and providing training in financial management, entrepreneurship and leadership development, WE encourages women to meet regularly, pool their resources, plan for the future and resolve problems together.

“Investing in empowering a woman is a multi-generational, high-yield investment with multiplied impact. We have seen proof that women are powerful change agents who can inspire transformation not just for themselves, but also for their families and communities.  We’re grateful to the Norm, Valerie, Andrew and Claire of the Hapke Family Foundation for their passion and support of this powerful program,” stated Sarah Emerson, Director of Women Empowered.

The program was recently chosen as a Top 5 Nominee for the CLASSY Awards, a social impact awards ceremony sponsored by the UN Foundation that honors the most outstanding and compelling philanthropic achievers around the world. Currently, the program engages nearly two hundred thousand participants across 12 countries with a goal of transforming the lives of one million women by 2016.

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PCI (Project Concern International) is an international health, development and humanitarian assistance organization, operating in 15 countries worldwide. Funded by federal grants and private support, PCI is dedicated to saving lives and building healthy communities around the globe, benefiting over 5.8 million people annually in Asia, Africa and the Americas. PCI’s headquarters are located in San Diego, CA and the organization also has an office in Washington, DC and a Seattle, WA representative. PCI’s current annual budget is $49 million and the organization has nearly 600 employees worldwide.

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