You must be wondering who these women are.
They are mothers, the mothers who are givers. The nurturers and nourishers; our source of life. The Egyptian woman is the true foundation of this society. While we’ve always perceived her as a mother and a wife, the Egyptian woman is that and so much more. She is the teacher, the health worker, the social worker, and the factory worker. She has been on the very frontlines of this pandemic crisis. Not only that, but according to the Egyptian National Council for Women, 36.4 % of these women work in the agriculture industry. The Egyptian woman doesn’t just cook the food, she grows it too. She nourishes and nurtures us. The Egyptian woman feeds the world.
To honor and assist this great woman, PepsiCo Egypt, in collaboration with Care Egypt and under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Solidarity, launched the “She Feeds the World” Program last year.
It’s a program that aims to empower those who give us power; the female farmers. PepsiCo believes the economic empowerment of these women -as the feeders of the world- will increase the food security of the country. So, the program provides technical knowledge and financial aid to small- scale producing female farmers. PepsiCo hopes the program will help raise their standard of living, create job opportunities, and eradicate malnutrition for rural Egyptian women and children.
To make this happen, PepsiCo invested 60 million Egyptian pounds (USD 3.7 million) to be spent in the span of 3 and a half years.
The program focuses on 4 governorates: Giza, Minya, Beheira, and Beni Sueif. It is expected to directly benefit 65,000 people who will in turn raise their communities’ standards of living, impacting the lives of over 325,000 people.
The program also includes the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) project.
This project enables rural women to collectively save and fund their own projects. Each woman adds a small amount to a savings box, and she is later able to withdraw this amount when she needs funds for her project. Additionally, the VSLA project provides these women with trainings on financial management, how to estimate the costs, profits, and revenues of their projects. Moreover, it keeps the power in their hands by having one woman be elected as the box treasurer; she is responsible for holding regular group discussions where women exchange the lessons they’ve learned and the challenges they face.
PepsiCo does not just aim to give these women fish. They’re also teaching them how to fish. In just the first year since the launching of the program, 3000 women have already reaped its rewards!
For PepsiCo, the rural woman’s empowerment means the prosperity of society. Her ability to make use of productive resources and have access to knowledge, support, and security will not only improve her own family’s standard of living but will also help feed our whole country.