MariaGrazia Khoyan, a BOMA Village Mentor from Archer’s Post, leads a savings-training session for REAP participants in Northern Kenya.

The BOMA Project announced a $1.9 million dollar cooperative agreement in July 2013 with the Department for International Development (DFID), the United Kingdom’s aid organization. DFID’s mission is to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty. The DFID accountable grant to BOMA will support the launch of 1,338 women-owned businesses across Northern Kenya over the next three years. The agreement also includes a significant governance component to strengthen drought risk-management networks across this rural, arid region.

“This project is exciting for us and a testament to the urgency of our work,” said Kathleen Colson, CEO and Founder of The BOMA Project.  Colson, along with BOMA, was recently recognized on the floor of the U.S. Senate for BOMA’s work with Kenyan women. “DFID’s support will enable us to educate 4,014 women in how to start their own businesses and mentor them to achieve success. In doing so we will lift more than 24,000 women and children out of extreme poverty by March 2015.

Climate change is creating longer droughts every year in Northern Kenya and is endangering an entire culture that currently depends on raising livestock for basic survival. BOMA’s work, to develop alternative means of income for some of the poorest people in the world while building community resilience, is crucial.

“BOMA’s impact is very clear, which was why we were keen to join their effort,” said Lisa Phillips, Head of DFID Kenya. “That they can help to give women in Northern Kenya a chance to fulfill their potential as business women is the sustainable approach we support.  We also appreciate BOMA’s strength in monitoring and evaluating their work.  Learning about what works is particularly important for all of us.”

For more information on The BOMA Project, go to: www.bomaproject.org