Nascent Solutions recognizes that equal access by women to the same resources as their male counterparts empowers them to utilize their substantial management abilities in ways that optimize the outcomes of development efforts.
As a result, Nascent’s approach to issues of gender equity is designed to address the problems at their roots, enabling women to develop confidence in their own abilities, evolve a clearer understanding of the challenges that stand in their way and work together to bring down the obstacles that hinder their development. Nascent’s gender strategy revolves around capacity building and the cultivation of an environment that enables women to succeed and excel.
In partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Nascent implemented a community-based women’s empowerment program – Women Empowered to Fight Aids and Violence Everywhere – WEAVE, to increase the ability of 12,000 women affected by HIV/AIDS in the Mpika District of Zambia to start and manage economically rewarding businesses.
During its first twelve months of implementation, the WEAVE program mobilized and organized 3,193 women into 157 groups, trained 40 volunteers, and enabled participating women to save 1,7000,000 Zambian Kwacha through the village banking scheme.
The WEAVE program also provided training in functional literacy, numeracy, village banking and entrepreneurship to beneficiaries and educated them on strategies for preventing gender based violence and HIV/AIDS.
Thousands of caregivers have been trained on basic nutrition skills and malnourished children received supplements to rebuild their weakened immune systems as a part of the program. Nascent identified partners and donors, such as Self Help Africa, that provided seed money to jump start the business initiatives that WEAVE beneficiaries developed.
The new cohorts of beneficiaries acquired reading, writing and numeracy skills while already literate beneficiaries ventured into the world of computing.
At the programs end WEAVE volunteers continued to educate their peers on strategies for the prevention of gender based violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS in their communities. And continued to pass on their literacy, micro-finance and business methods.