Deline’s Gift is a non-profit whose goal is to enhance the lives of impoverished, disabled, displaced and under-served women and children in Senegal, West Africa. We believe that disadvantaged women have the natural talent and ambition to lead productive and prosperous lives. What they do not have is the opportunity, training or lump sum of money to pursue their goals.
Deline’s Gift provides just that: concrete and comprehensive solutions that remove barriers and empower women with profitable skills, interest-free micro loans and essential resources to develop microenterprises and generate income.
Our action is multifaceted and our engagement gradual and long-term, because empowering disadvantaged women to lift themselves out of poverty requires a comprehensive approach. Especially when the situation is compounded by challenges such as disability and conflict.
WHAT SETS US APART
An unusual target group
Deline’s Gift is unique in that it targets neglected groups of ultra-poor, disabled and displaced women who are uneducated and for whom self-employment is the only option. We are interested in the women no one is interested in and we respond to their needs. They typically do not have access to the capital needed to self-employ and are denied access to credit due to their lack of assets and guarantees.
Recognizing how essential it is for them to be independent and have a choice, we help unlock their potential by investing and facilitating its accomplishment at no cost to them.
No interest or collateral
We avail vocational and business training based on their expressed needs. This is supplemented by collateral and interest-free micro loans to develop their micro enterprises We take the women at their word that they will pay us back–trust they’ve never experienced from other organizations. What’s astounding is that, to date, 100% of these loans have been repaid. The return we get as an organization is the satisfaction that comes from doing our part to uplift women, their children and communities.
Gradual, long-term and comprehensive engagement
After an initial screening, groups of disadvantaged women are enrolled in our two-year graduation program and begin receiving vocational training and interest-free micro loans to develop microenterprises and generate income. We employ a step-by-step approach graduation program to our work because disadvantaged women require intensive and sustained support and guidance to get a strong foothold on the path out of poverty. In addition to our graduation program, we offer complementary services that enhance our social mission:
Savings are a critical mechanism for building economic independence and safeguarding for the future. Poverty-stricken women rarely save, leaving them very vulnerable in emergencies. Deline’s Gift helps them design a basic, convenient saving mechanism so that they are prepared for crises or business opportunities.
Health and mobility support
We understand that poverty is inextricably linked to health: lack of financial resources prevents women from seeking medical care and poor health can keep them trapped in a cycle of poverty. So we offer our members occasional health screenings and information sessions. This is one more way we invest in the security, stability and future of the women we serve.
A special focus here, is the provision of mobility equipment such as wheelchairs to disabled beneficiaries who cannot afford them. These wheelchairs deliver mobility, a sense of independence, and the ability to go to school, be productive, and take part in community life.
People living in Western countries discard pounds of clothes every year. This includes children’s clothing that ends up in landfills when they could very well be repurposed. On the other hand, millions of African children are born into impoverished circumstances and barely have clothing of their own. Among them are children of the women we serve.
We bridge the gap between these two realities by inviting donations of gently used baby clothes. We then give the clothes new purpose by distributing them to babies in need. Repurposed baby clothing is another essential resource Deline’s Gift provides disadvantaged women and children.