In Minya and Beni Suef, the Amal Project is helping widows and female breadwinners sustain themselves and their families.   

Facts & Figures
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  • Location: Minya, Egypt
  • Alfanar SE Since: 2012
  • Total Alfanar Grant: £1,108,833
  • Social Impact: 22,505 widows and female breadwinners set up micro-enterprises
  • Supported By:
  • SDGs:

The Challenge

While approximately 60 percent of women in the developing world are engaged in some form of paid labour, among widows, this statistic drops to 20 percent. In Egypt, widows and female heads of household – who are estimated to head up 57 percent of Egyptian households - are particularly vulnerable to socioeconomic disparities. Widows, already faced with routine gender-based discrimination, are also among the least likely to have the tools, training and opportunities to escape from poverty, only serving to perpetuate the negative spiral.  

The Organisation

Established in 2001, the Future Eve Foundation is one of the leading organisations working with women in Minya. They work to raise awareness among women on topics ranging from their legal rights to reproductive health issues, and to prevent female genital mutilation.

In 2012, Future Eve launched the Amal Project, an economic empowerment initiative that uses vocational and financial literacy training, as well as microloans, to equip Minya’s widows with the resources to launch their own microenterprises to sustain themselves and their families. Their project has focussed on providing a sustainable long-term financial security to the widows, and has now successfully expanded from 224 women across 3 villages in 2013 to over 22,505 women across 108 villages by the end of 2022.  

What has been Achieved with Alfanar's Support

Through Alfanar’s support, the Future Eve Foundation piloted the Amal Project (which means ‘Hope’) in 3 rural villages in Minya. The Project has provided vocational and financial literacy training, microloans and project support for widows to launch and run their own businesses. The Amal Project also equipped widows to start their own social lending funds, giving women training in how to borrow from and lend to one another. In addition to grants, Alfanar gave training for FEF’s staff on monitoring and evaluation and also sourced a financial consultant who continues to provide expertise for the project. This has now expanded to 83 villages, and has developed from simple microloans to the establishment of Value Chains that will provide large numbers of widows with vital financial security. In 2017, with Alfanar’s assistance, the Amal Project expanded to include a duck rearing business chain – ducks adaptability and robust nature makes them the perfect product, and Egypt’s demand for ducks is far higher than its production, meaning that there is an easily accessible market.

FEF has expanded exponentially through Alfanar’s support, and has also been able to develop effective monitoring and impact measurement systems due to Alfanar’s monitoring and evaluation training. This has allowed the Amal Project to achieve 99% repayment rate on all microloans, and helping to prove the sustainability of the project in the long-term.

Here in Upper Egypt, a woman after her husband’s death must stay indoors… I didn’t listen to people or I wouldn’t be able to raise my children. The project I started with my loan has grown and I can see it prosper with my own eyes. Step by step, with patience, anything can happen.

Wadiaa, Future Eve Amal widow beneficiary 

Alfanar's Support: Looking Ahead

Alfanar’s future support will focus on the continued expansion of the Amal Project across the Arab World. With consistent growth demonstrated, and a successful business plan in place, Alfanar will continue to support FEF in researching and implementing new potential income streams, alongside the expansion and scaling of existing schemes. Management support and training will continue to ensure that FEF and the Amal Project continue to effectively refine their business practices. 

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