Every March 8 since 1977, the world has celebrated women on International Women’s Day. In 2019, the event focuses on an inspiring theme: “Thinking fairly, building intelligently, innovating for change”. In other words, the theme invites us to think about innovative ways to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Since the association’s creation, LifeTime Projects has made the condition of women one of its main concerns. On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2019, let us review the various projects that have been set up.
In partnership with the Cameroonian association Femmes d’Atta, LifeTime Projects has created a cooperative to manufacture handmade soaps. Entirely organized by the women of the village, this structure aims to tackle the lack of hygiene while promoting local handicrafts. It also allows women to learn a new profession and ensure a stable and sustainable income. Through this action, women from Atta become ambassadors for local development and representatives of Cameroonian crafts. They also have the capacity to train the new generations of the village equally between men and women.
In Bolivia, LifeTime Projects supports young girls living in homes towards optimal reintegration. Designed for teenage girls with a difficult past, this project consists in offering them training in handicrafts. It provides them with the necessary skills to be able to emancipate themselves professionally when they reach the age of majority. At the same time, psychological follow-up is provided to help them regain their self-confidence and work on their self-esteem.
In Cameroon, society is still largely dominated by men. It is difficult for women to find a place for themselves, and for young girls to have access to a proper education. LifeTime Projects has therefore set up a “female empowerment” project, in partnership with the association Femmes d’Atta. Workshops, training and personalized follow-up enable us to raise awareness about the situation of women in Cameroonian society and in the world. Also on the agenda: literacy courses to learn to read, write and calculate, computer literacy workshops, and training for the creation of micro-enterprises. Thanks to this basic knowledge, women can emancipate themselves, and gradually regain their place in society by reducing the social gap between them and men.
Sexual education and women’s rights
In societies where women’s place is devalued, sex education is often taboo, and little is said about women’s rights. To change the situation, LifeTime Projects regularly organizes awareness workshops. First with young women but also with families and villages, with the objective of supporting awareness and discussions with women as well as with men, in respect of the local culture.
Support for girls’ education
LifeTime Projects does everything in its power to ensure that young girls stay in school as long as possible. Because in Bolivia as in Cameroon, girls’ education is often overlooked in favor of boys’ education. In Cameroon, girls leave school quickly because of early pregnancies or because they are married at a very young age. In Bolivia, when parents cannot take care of their children, young girls are often left on the street. To survive, they join prostitution or human trafficking networks. To address these issues, LifeTime Projects works with children’s homes and orphanages that care for these young girls.
Impuls’her Projects is the latest project of our association. It is a social and professional integration support program designed for young women in Bolivia and Cameroon who have had a difficult start in life. Currently cared for by children’s centers, these young women participate voluntarily in Impuls’her Projects. LifeTime Projects offers them an entrepreneurship initiation program with a theoretical training phase and a practical exercise phase. Through this program, we support them in a business creation project and in the realization of their life project. Thanks to the donations that the project has been able to collect, the association will be able to accompany young women once they leave the centers at 18 years old. Thanks to Impuls’her Projects, these young women are moving towards a stable social and professional future. It also provides them with the guarantee of a decent and regular income to support themselves and their families. Finally, a participative deduction will be made from their future income to fund a collective monetary fund. This will be used each year to finance girls’ education or the creation of micro-enterprises for young women in the program for future editions.
International Women’s Day is growing each year, reminding us of the importance of supporting this cause. Even today, LifeTime Projects reaffirms its commitment for gender equality, women’s empowerment and the improvement of women’s living conditions.