The Laima Project
“It is impossible to realize our goals while discriminating against half the human race. As study after study has taught us, there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women”- Kofi Annan, then UN Secretary-General, 2006.
The empowerment of women is just one of the goals of Building Minds in South Sudan (BMISS).
The Laima Project, named after the Lithuanian Goddess, Laima who determined how the life of a newborn will take place; has recently become BMISS’ answer to that end.
The concept of microfinancing was developed in 2017 and with funding,; The Laima Project was born. The women of Mayen Abun village (the same village where BMISS has targeted its education of children) were the intended recipients.
On Sebastian’s 2017 trip to South Sudan, he was able to meet five women who were chosen by community and business leaders. The women were chosen based on their economic need and prior business experience. Each recipient was then presented a $600.00 grant from BMISS to participate in the program.
A year from now, we will have five proud successful female entrepreneurs. Pictured above, Sebastian is standing with the first recipients of the grant. Two of the women have created convenience stores, two operate outdoor restaurants, and one has started a tea shop. Pictured above, Sebastian is standing with these first grant recipients. To show their appreciation, they presented Sebastian a woven grass basket which they made in Dinka tradition to be given to their American donor.
In the book, Half The Sky, authors Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn, stated that, “One reason microloans are almost always made to women, rather than to men, is because women tend to suffer the most from poverty.” So, aside from educating children of Mayen Abun, BMISS is now contributing to the empowerment and education of women by raising them out of poverty.