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WEAVE Women Learn Computing & Microfinance

16 rural women are leading their communities into the computer age, after having completed both phases of a training course in basic computing offered as part of Project WEAVE (Women Empowered-to-Fight Aids and Violence Everywhere), supported by USAID and Nascent Solutions, in rural Northern Zambia.

ICT and basic literacy trainees stand to play a crucial role in supporting broader efforts towards financial security, the establishment of private enterprises and HIV/AIDs awareness and prevention in the region.

Many ICT and basic literacy trainees are already playing important roles using their newly acquired skills to help in bookkeeping and accounting in community banking initiatives that were set up as part of project WEAVE. To date the community banks have saved K128, 221,500 ($25,600) and facilitated the creation of 1,172 women owned and operated small businesses; that greatly supplement household income and assert financial autonomy for women. WEAVE ICT and literacy trainees bring more efficient financial organization methods, and informationdissemination mechanisms that will only grow in utility as established businesses grow and expand.

Most importantly these newly empowered women are eager to participate more fully in their communities by using their abilitiesto disseminate materials on HIV/AIDs awareness and prevention, and contributing to the fight against the gender based violence that is prevalent in many remote and rural areas.