Masambe is a micro-credit programme that enables women living in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape to start and develop their own businesses. “Masambe”, meaning “let’s go forward”, is a programme that supports women from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing them with small business loans, mentoring, and business support. The programme is intended to empower women to maximize their skills and to assist them to move out of poverty.

Education is the single most important civil rights issue that we face today.

Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States

In the rural areas of the Eastern Cape there are large tracts of land which are seriously underdeveloped and where local communities are suffering from high levels of unemployment and significant levels of poverty. The population is predominantly female dominated and these high levels of poverty have resulted in aggravated levels of poor health, child malnutrition, lower levels of education and low economic productivity.

The micro-credit programme is aimed at achieving the following Millennium Development Goals:

  • The eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. The programme focuses on the poorest communities, enabling women to enter self-employment and lifting them and their families out of poverty.
  • The promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment. The programme will focus exclusively on women, redressing historical imbalances. It aims to build its clients’ self-confidence, fostering self-belief and encouraging self-reliance.
  • The development of a global partnership for development. International collaboration between those with experience of micro-credit in the UK, Bangladesh, and elsewhere form the basis of this global partnership which is aimed at promoting economic development in one of the former homelands.

You can learn more about the Masambe women through our special online feature and you can contact us to support the programme.