Celebrate Your Savings

Sponsored Kids – Meet Cheikh

Happy Sponsored Kids Friday, friends! First, let’s meet our kid of the week – Cheikh!  Cheikh is about 19, though we don’t know what his actual birthday is.  He lives in Tattaguine, Senegal with his brother and parents.  Like most families in the rural regions of Senegal, his father is a farm laborer and his mother is a housewife.  He loves soccer/football and reading, which is a major win!  He is in school, to my knowledge.  If you didn’t know, kids in World Vision programs may reach different levels of school at various ages dependent on when they have the financial means to actually start.  I don’t know when Cheikh started, but it’s not uncommon for older teenagers to be anywhere from a middle school level all the way to collegiate studies.

To finish up an overview of World Vision’s economic empowerment plan, I wanted to touch on the 3rd way they help from our list below:

1. Microfinance.
2. Savings groups.
3. Market/value chain development.

So, what is market/value chain development?  Well, a value chain “refers to all the activities undertaken by a company from initially purchasing raw materials and then manufacturing a product, to placing it on the market ready to be bought by consumers. All the value-adding activities in the value chain are interlinked, and are designed to make the best possible product or service, thus giving the commercial enterprise a competitive advantage in the marketplace.” So, the practical application of this is simply that World Vision helps train business owners on how to maximize every step of production and logistics to make the most successful product possible.  World Vision Business School, more or less! 

Much like they help farmers learn how to rotate certain crops to help sustain the soil and improve growth potential on their land, WV helps businesses learn business techniques to help them become competitive and sustainable.  If you’re curious, here is a manual they give to their trainers for these kind of courses:  

So, in these 3 ways, World Vision is helping overcome the economic challenges that perpetuate poverty.  It’s a pretty thorough system, which is good, because poverty is extremely complex.  But as you’ve seen, they are making a BIG difference.  In a couple weeks, we’ll start looking at how they tackle some of the other factors that contribute to extreme poverty.  Hope you’ve enjoyed learning!