CURE hospital empowers women

By October 19, 2010

Zambia (MNN) — About 3,000 patients,
most of them children, get medical help at Beit CURE International Hospital of
Zambia every year. Often their mothers
are the people who bring them and look after them while they stay in the
hospital. These women come from all over
Zambia, and most are very poor.

Now, through CURE Zambia's Women's Empowerment
Program, these women are finding ways to make an income. 

"The whole thing started after we
realized that most of the mothers that come to the hospital are financially
burdened and didn't have any skills that could earn them an income," explained
Reverend Na Haamumba, spiritual advisor at CURE Zambia. "We sat down and
decided to start the Women's Empowerment Program in 2007, shortly after the
hospital opened."

The first income-generating skills the
program taught were methods of making tie and dye products. Now the program has evolved, and the women
also do beading and jewelry making. In addition,
they make purses out of recycled shopping bags. 

The program has enjoyed great
success. Ten of the women trained in tie
and dye now sell their products on their own, and their profits have enabled
them to send their children to school and buy seeds to grow vegetables for
their families. 

The women have obtained a set of
faithful customers in the local community. They get so many orders for handbags that an organization called
Forgotten Voices gave a sewing machine to the Women's Empowerment Project so
the women can sew at a faster pace. One woman
is earning K 500,000 ($100 USD) a month by supplying the University Teaching
Hospital with paper bead necklaces. The success
of the program provides an excellent platform for sharing the Gospel with
hospital families and with the community. 

The program shows great promise for
reaching the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty for the women and their families. "We also encourage these women to take the
skills they've learned and teach them to the members of their families," said
Reverend Na. "We want the entire family included so that they all have
something to do."

Established in 2004, Beit CURE Zambia is one of the few hospitals in
Zambia that is able to adequately address the surgical needs of the disabled
children in the country. Since opening
its doors, Beit CURE Zambia has seen over 8,000 patients and performed nearly
4,000 surgeries. It runs a partnership
with the SMILE Train and a hip replacement program. Your support can help change lives in Zambia,
not only medically and economically, but also spiritually. 

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