Speaking at the African Green Revolution Forum in Arusha, Tanzania yesterday, Gates Foundation co-chair Melinda Gates praised CARE for its pioneering Village Savings and Loan Association program which brings vital financial services and education to millions of people in Africa’s poorest communities.
Acknowledgment of the success of our VSLAs from Melinda Gates would be very meaningful to us under any circumstances, but it was doubly so yesterday. That’s because the same event also included the African launch of CARE’s new Pathways program to improve the food security and long-term resiliency of women smallholder farmers and their families. Supported by the Gates Foundation, Pathways will use the success of VSLAs as a platform to enable women farmers to access the skills and services they need to promote sustainable agriculture in their communities and reduce poverty and hunger.
In a session following Gates’ talk, Pathways Team Leader Dr. Jemimah Njuki explained the program’s aims, and discussed how Pathways is setting standards for other CARE programs. For example, the measurement tools developed by CARE for Pathways are already being used in four other CARE programs. Over five years, Pathways will help 150,000 people in Bangladesh, India, Ghana, Malawi, Mali and Tanzania.
To learn more about CARE’s Pathways program, visit www.CAREPathwaysToEmpowerment.org. To find out more about the African Green Revolution Forum and efforts to boost sustainable agricultural growth in Africa, visit www.AGRForum.com.
And for a short photo blog detailing Melinda Gates’ visit this week to a CARE Village Savings and Loan Association near Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, visit the Gates Foundation’s Facebook page.