In 2008, Bloomberg Philanthropies partnered with Women for Women International in Rwanda to create economic opportunities for women and their families through skills-building and vocational training. In 2009, we expanded our investment into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, and Sudan. Since 2008, over 235,000 women have enrolled in Bloomberg-funded programs and received training on financial literacy, health and wellness, and rights awareness. Each participant receives an individualized program plan that leads to a vocational track such as artisan crafts, agriculture, or construction.
An independent third-party evaluation by Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) shows the efficacy and replicability of the Women’s Economic Development Initiative by helping women develop marketable skills in high-demand industries.
Marking the 10th anniversary of partnership with Women for Women International
Women’s Opportunity Center – Built By and For Women
To fulfill the core mission of job creation and income generation, women received training in construction and a method of brick-making called “sand-molding.” A cooperative of 250 women learned the technique and created the 520,000 bricks that were used to construct the center.
The women in the construction and brick-making business training program have secured multiple contracts, including building a local hospital and school. Since our investment in 2013, the brick cooperative has permanently employed 200 women.