UPLift--Poverty Alleviation For The Ultra-Poor

UPLift is a program designed to empower communities on the Thai/Burmese border that lack food security, opportunities for income, and education. Through the use of small grants and skills trainings, these families receive the opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty without having to rely on external aid indefinitely.

Monday, July 9, 2012

UPLift and Project Inspire, Finishing Things Up...

As you've read in previous posts, UPLift had the delight of working together with UN Women and Mastercard on Project Inspire, a program designed to improve social entrepreneurship and women's empowerment around the world.  As the winner of the 2011 Best Financial Literacy Project Award, UPlift has spent much of the past year researching, planning and implementing a great project that works with the female residents of a landfill community near Mae Sot, Thailand.

Thanks to UN Women's project grant of USD $10,000, we were able to train a group of young CBO staff from Burma on financial literacy, give them the tools and skills to be trainers themselves, and then set off on a series of basic financial literacy trainings for a group of over 60 women.  The results were fantastic: women now have realistic and achievable savings goals, they use household budgeting to control their lives, and their dreams of moving on into the future can be fulfilled. 

In addition, the grant allowed UPLift to hire a new staff member, Ko Lynn, to join us on delivering innovative and exciting programs for migrant women in and around Mae Sot.  He has blown new wind into our sails by pressing for further women's empowerment projects with new migrant communities in Mae Sot.  Using both the positive experiences and lessons learned from dealing with challenges at the landfill, we have now wound down the official Project Inspire program as expected but are indeed planning and fundraising for another year of spreading capacity, sharing experiences and proving that giving more power to women (both fiscally and in society) is one of the greatest ways to end extreme poverty.

Camilla (left), visiting the UPLift team at Wide Horizons Project Management School in February.

We wish to give a warm THANK YOU to U.N. Women Singapore for the grant they have provided us and the time spent working together.  It has been a fantastic collaboration, and we are looking forward to continue making a difference for women in the future.