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Black History Month: Empowering women and inspiring change

This Black History Month 2023 we  acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding achievements of black women and the vital role they have played in shaping history, inspiring change, and building communities.

We’re shedding light on some women’s empowerment projects in Africa, and how women are helping to strengthen their communities. 

Amina’s story

Amina is a 48-year-old woman from Ewa Woreda, in the Afar region of Ethiopia, who struggled with poverty and limited resources.

Islamic Relief endeavours to empower women, with Amina one of 25 women selected and trained on how to work together as a group to generate a living. She established an association and cooperative institution for trading coffee and tea at the centre of Ewa Woreda, with the help of Islamic Relief.

Image: Amina Mohammed (48), in her home town of Ewa Woreda

Despite the challenges posed by civil unrest and conflict in the region, Amina refused to give up on her dream of running a successful business. With the support and guidance of Islamic Relief, she was able to rebuild her business and even make it stronger than before.

Amina’s determination to succeed was fuelled by her desire to create a better future for herself and her community. She saw her business not just as a source of income, but also as a way to empower other women in her community. By working with local women and creating a support network of fellow female entrepreneurs, Amina was able to create a ripple effect of positive change and inspire other women. 

Today, Amina is a respected leader in her community. Her success serves as a powerful example of what is possible when women are given the support and resources they need to succeed.

Inspiring Ibida

Ibada, a 54-year-old mother of 7 children, lives in the Sharaf-weyn village of Awdal region in western Somaliland. Ibada had been responsible for 100 goats, enabling her to earn a secure living, but Somalia’s prolonged drought meant she became unable to feed or provide water for her goats. 

Ibada watched helplessly in distress as, 1 by 1, her goats died. Without them, she had no means to provide for her family.

Islamic Relief’s Strengthening Agricultural Resilience (SARIA) project aims to increase resilience among livestock farmers, who were supported to produce crops that they could better protect against the effects of drought, as well as being trained in other farming techniques that enable them to more effectively manage the new herds.

Now, with a healthy set of goats, Ibada is able to provide for her children and intends to expand her livelihood in the coming years.

Image: Ibada receives goats from Islamic Relief to empower her to earn a reliable living once again.
I was highly in need of getting these goats for my family, and now I can better manage and [have] milk for my kids

Ibada says.

Ibada is just one of many livestock farmers in Somalia that possesses the skills and knowledge to earn a living from agriculture. Empowered with the right techniques and equipment, women like Ibada are leading the way in strengthening the country’s economy.

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