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Building Up Benin's Businesses

Plan International Benin supports women living in vulnerable households to start their own businesses and become stronger leaders, which in turn benefits their children.

We do this in three ways:  we help strengthen women’s leadership skills; we help strengthen women’s organisations (via Village Savings and Loans Associations, or VSLAs) to improve access to basic social services; and we work together at protecting women and girls from all forms of violence.

Working with communities and partners, we also work with women and girls to raise their awareness of their rights, which helps them respond to abuse and violence more effectively. In addition, we contribute to improving maternal and infant survival, reducing the transmission of HIV between mother and child, and supporting more children to complete primary school. Together, we are transforming lives.

The women of Zou in Benin have embraced economic independence and security through the “Houeffa-Gnonnu” project in Plan International Benin’s Bohicon programme area.

Member of Village Savings and Loan Group filling in a savings deposit receipt
Member of Village Savings and Loan Group filling in a savings deposit receipt

This two-year community project aims to empower women and ensure the wellbeing of their children, by enabling them to access basic financial services through a Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA). "Put goodwill in and you’ll be amazed by your own financial independence. Your children and households will find relief," says Hyacinthe Lodeou, Programmes Coordinator at Plan International Benin’s Bohicon field office. "We did not know it would be so profitable, otherwise we would have shown more goodwill," said one woman member.

Many members have increased their weekly contribution from 200 FCFA to 500 FCFA.