Despite facing decades of instability and economic stagnation since gaining independence in 1962, Burundi’s people are proving their resilience and hope as they work toward achieving small and large-scale goals through Global Communities’ Women Empowered program, formerly led by PCI. Discrimination and harmful social norms toward women are the primary drivers of unequal access to economic opportunities in Burundi, with particularly severe consequences for those living in rural areas. Women are trapped in a cycle of difficult work to meet basic needs, with few options for building better, more secure futures for themselves and their families. The Women Empowered program provides a way for rural Burundian women to overcome these roadblocks, work towards economic resilience and integrate into the business sector. 

Women Empowered is a savings-led economic empowerment program designed to train groups of 15-25 people to save money together, access credit from that savings, develop financial literacy and invest in income-generating activities. This training program also promotes skill building, increased self-esteem, access to information and resources, and collective action that positions women as competent decision-makers and leaders in their homes and communities. Global Communities is proud to work through local partners in Burundi, generating opportunities for women to create sustainable, transformational change. 

Supporting Women’s Economic Advancement through Savings Groups

In 2018, Global Communities (formerly PCI) began working with partner Burundi Friends International to form 12 savings groups and has since expanded the Women Empowered program to 188 groups of young people and women, reaching more than 4,400 participants. Through this program, participants have saved more than $105,000 to be used for small loans, expanding businesses, improving houses and purchasing livestock. As community members see the successes of their neighbors, demand for the Women Empowered program has only grown. The most recent program also integrated business skills and positive masculinity training into group meetings, building members’ earning potential and engaging men in support of women’s economic empowerment in their communities.

Courtesy of Burundi Friends International
Courtesy of Burundi Friends International


money saved by group members since 2018, to be invested into group members' families, businesses and communities


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