PCI Launches Women Empowered Training in San Diego

Training for community facilitators marks launch of the micro-savings training initiative in San Diego for impoverished women

SAN DIEGO, CA  (June 18, 2013) — Marking its US debut, PCI has introduced the Women Empowered (WE) initiative to three of San Diego’s most vulnerable communities.  The global micro-savings program is active in six countries, with over 20,000 active participants.  PCI recently accelerated the WE initiative with a large private donation over $2 million from a San Diego family.  PCI’s goal is to integrate WE into programs in each of the 16 countries in which PCI operates, engaging 100,000 women worldwide by 2014.

The launch began with a training for staff and community facilitators, covering essential aspects of the program’s methodology as well as specific aspects related to the development of the program in the US context.

Representatives of each ethnic group were present in the training and actively participated in the creation of group profiles while providing invaluable insight for the adaptation of the model to the particular cultural groups in US context. This training brings us one step closer to the implementation of the program in the San Diego area and sets up a strong foundation for this program in the area.

PCI is targeting three of San Diego’s most vulnerable communities: East African, Latina and Filipina immigrants and refugees. These communities bring richness and diversity to San Diego, but also struggle in the face of many financial and social challenges. Through participation in the WE Initiative, PCI’s goal is for women from these communities to be empowered to meet these challenges and support their needs and those of their families.

Created in 2011, PCI’s Women Empowered (WE) Initiative is a groundbreaking economic development model that gives impoverished women more control over their future.  PCI believes that women are the solution to poverty, poor health and vulnerability and through WE, women can create social and economic empowerment for themselves, their families and their communities.

PCI’s Women Empowered (WE) Initiative is a global commitment to the economic and social empowerment of women around the world. WE features a proven, evidence-based savings-led microfinance model originally developed in Ethiopia and Zambia, which is now being deployed success-fully by PCI in several countries. The WE approach is a highly effective counter-measure for women around the world who struggle to find economic and social opportunities for themselves, their daughters and their families.

The WE Initiative’s savings-led microfinance model positions women as leaders, training 15-20 women to form a self-organized and self-managed savings group within their communities. Through these groups, women learn valuable social and business skills, pool their own resources, and are provided with opportunities to network and participate in community development activities. By positioning women as decision makers and facilitating connections within their local communities, we empower them as agents of transformation within their families, ethnic communities and broader society.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2011, PCI (Project Concern International) is an international health, development and humanitarian assistance organization, operating in 16 countries worldwide.  PCI is dedicated to saving lives and building healthy communities around the globe, benefitting over 6.7 million people annually in Asia, Africa and the Americas.  Funded by federal grants and private support, PCI’s current annual budget is nearly $50 million and the organization has 600 employees worldwide. PCI’s headquarters are located in San Diego, CA and also has an office in Washington, DC and a Seattle, WA representative.