This blog was originally published in Cisco’s Transformational Tech series under the name, “Leveraging technology to build economic opportunity and drive inclusion for women in extreme poverty“. The Transformational Tech series highlights nonprofit partners that use technology to help transform the lives of individuals and communities. Toward Cisco’s vision of an inclusive future for all, Cisco is partnering with Trickle Up to help them leverage technology to increase financial inclusion, independence, economic security, and resilience for women living in poverty. Click here or the button below to read the full blog.
An estimated 650 million people live in extreme poverty in the world today. Many of them are women facing multiple forms of vulnerability, discrimination, and exclusion. But when women have livelihoods and resources, with the ability to make decisions over those resources, they invest in three things: nutrition, education, and health. Investing in women and their economic inclusion is one of the best ways to interrupt intergenerational poverty.
The Importance of Coaching
Our programs build on the Graduation Approach and offer participants an opportunity to join savings groups with women from their communities as well as access to training, coaching, and seed capital to build sustainable livelihoods. Individual and group coaching is one of the most important elements of our work. It enables us to accompany women as they build their confidence and resilience and create their own sustainable pathways out of poverty.
In our experience, the best coaches are women who are from the same communities that we serve. These community coaches understand the context, experience, vulnerabilities, and challenges facing our participants, They are ideally positioned to share the technical content knowledge the community can’t always access.
That’s where our tablet based Echb’eenink app (meaning “to accompany” in a local Mayan language) comes in. Pre-loaded with audio-visual content, including animated videos in local languages, it enables coaches to deliver important coaching modules to support participants as they build knowledge and confidence. New modules include coaching on gender-based violence, climate change, effective savings groups, and sexual and reproductive health.