Women helping women worldwide

By June 16, 2009

International (MNN) — "Women of Global Action" is focused on fighting six specific women's issues: poverty, lack of education, the AIDS epidemic, female circumcision, human trafficking and forced early marriage. However, they are finding that poverty is often the root cause of many of those issues

"We really want to help women have more control over their lives, and often that involves economic independence," explained Emily Voorhies, executive director of women's ministry with Global Action.

Currently, they have more than 150,000 Christian women leaders around the world. Global Action trains them as they address women's issues. Their main thrusts are micro-enterprise and helping adolescent girls facing life after formal schooling. At
this age, many have few options which often leads them to make negative life choices.

Global Action helps the women establish their business, often with a group of others from the program. During a 10-month training course, they develop a skill and learn about business
practices and finances.   They've found that sewing is a useful skill in most countries. Once learned, the products that a woman makes can be tailored to suit her culture and the needs of her specific community. She is loaned a sewing machine until she can pay for it. The money then goes to help another woman from the waiting list.

"Really, once we make some initial investment, it really is women helping women in their local context," said Voorhies.

Everything Global Action does is a means of showing God's love in a practical way. They usually go into countries where they already have a network of women who have been
identified as needing help and are ready to start a program. Bible study, prayer time and Christian counseling are always key elements during training. "It really is a holistic program addressing the spiritual, physical, emotional and mental needs of the women that we are working with," Voorhies said. 

Because of this, many women come to Christ, said Voorhies. "In fact, I would say 100
percent of them. One of the things that I think is beautiful about the program is that we're not just telling them that God loves the: we're going and showing them that God's love in us is reaching out to them and helping them feed their children."

Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, Ivory coast, and some Asian areas are the focus for Global Action's current micro-loan projects. In Burundi alone, there are more than 300
women on the waiting list. A lack of funding is the only hindrance to speeding up their progress through that list. Once they have the finances available, there are many leaders who are ready to begin working with more women.

Pray that women will be empowered through these micro-loan programs. Pray for positive
change in each of their communities and that many more people will come to Christ.

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