Women Empowered (WE)
Women Empowered (WE) is a PCI global initiative dedicated to promoting the economic and social empowerment of women through the formation of self-managed and self-sustaining savings groups. PCI provides training to savings group participants in governance, record keeping, savings, lending and entrepreneurship. Regular group meetings also provide a platform for social support, individual leadership and business development, enabling women to become powerful agents of economic and social transformation within their communities. WE participants are also trained in our local “Life Skills” program which provides important foundation of skills for participants (computer, communication, budget management.), and mental health and emotional wellbeing though HEAL (Health Education Action for Living).
San Diego is home to a variety of ethnic and cultural groups, many of which are living in poverty. Three communities in particular struggle to meet daily needs of food, clothing, shelter and medical care.
An estimated 184,370 Hispanics or Latinos were living below the federal poverty level in San Diego County in 2009.
Filipinos struggle to identify skills needed to find success in the workforce.
American Somalis,nearly all former refugees resettled in San Diego by the U.S. State Department, display the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the country and remain the least educated.
In order to enhance the low-income areas of San Diego where the majority of these three ethnic groups live, there should be a focus on providing empowerment opportunities to women who are excluded from participating actively in their communities.
Key Program Activities
PCI provides training in small business management, literacy & numeracy, entrepreneurship, financial budgeting and leadership skills. This training coupled with savings group activities, provides a platform for sustainable business, economic development and social empowerment.
New WE groups will be developed using PCI’s CARE group approach which means they will be part of a larger level intervention, WE participants will continue to benefit from our local “Life Skills” program and our depression prevention psycho-educational program named HEAL.
They will also benefit from our new CDC program that supports Latina women seeking to get a degree as a CHW.
WE Success Stories
One of the things the program is teaching us is how to save. As for me, saving even a little amount every meeting helps a lot. I know that we can all save a little individually but with this group you can see that the money grows as the group grows. I think the uniqueness of this group is that we have a common goal and we have already built a good relationship with each other, like a family. I was able to get a loan to pay for my mother’s citizenship. I am proud to say that she is now an American citizen.