Drilling a well is only the first step in improving quality of life for a village. More must be done. When women no longer have to walk to get water, it frees up 50% of their time, opening up the possibility of being able to work in a more productive way.
Giving a woman a micro-loan enables her to start a small business doing something she already knows how to do. She doesn't need much training, except perhaps on how to grow vegetables using drip farming, a new technique for the village.
Women in a village form micro-credit enerprises and work together to support one another-they raise chickens and goats, make peanut oil, millet cakes, soap, and grow vegetables.
Making loans to women is, in reality, loaning to entire families, to an entire village! Best of all, these female entrepreneurs provide a positive role model for their children.
In January 2012, a Wells Bring Hope team of volunteers traveled to Niger to visit villages where wells were drilled and microfinance provided. The team included Wells Bring Hope's Nigerien-born Director of Microfinance Hadiara Diallo, documentary filmmaker Daniel Yadlosky, Founder Barbara Goldberg, Ida Harding on her second trip to Niger, and Kristin Allen. While there, they interviewed close to 100 women about how safe water and microfinance changed their lives.