With some of the women entrepreneurs
The CARE event for International Womens Day
I know that when women are given the chance to make the most of their talents they can achieve higher living standards and can start to escape poverty.
In March Cherie visited Kenya on behalf of her Foundation, which in partnership with SolarAid is assisting women in Africa to develop small businesses selling solar power products.
Cherie is a Patron of SolarAid and their innovative products such as mobile phone chargers and lamps, enable small scale entrepreneurs to earn an independent income and at the same time help to eliminate the use of harmful kerosene fuelled lighting. The project, called sunnymoney is a means for women in particualr to lift themselves out of poverty and unlock their economic potential, most especially in rural communities, where the need for access to energy is greatest. The additional income these women earn from sunnymoney goes towards improved living standards, not only for themselves, but also for their families and communities. The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women provides these female entrepreneurs with business training, including book keeping and marketing, to help them promote the solar lights, chargers and other products so they can not only make a living but also invest in their families and help the environment.
On the same trip, Cherie also attended a CARE International event marking International Women's Day, focusing on the women whose lives have been shattered by rape and violence. Cherie joined CARE in calling for action to help these women rebuild their lives after conflict related violence. CARE International is a leading aid organisation fighting global poverty whilst the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women offers women better access to business development support in areas of the world where they lack equal opportunities. In Kenya the two organistations are combing forces to try and enable women to earn a living to support themselves and their families; recognising that it is women and children suffer who most from poverty.
"I know that when women are given the chance to make the most of their talents they can achieve higher living standards and can start to escape poverty. This is an important day, and it's a great pleasure to spend it with CARE International - and particularly to meet some of the women whose lives they've helped rebuild through education, training and financial support." Cherie Blair
To read more about CARE International click here www.careinternational.org.uk
To learn more about SolarAid click here www.solar-aid.org
To read more about Cherie's visit click here http://solar-aid.org/about/2010/03/patron-cherie-blair-visits-ken.html
To read Reuters coverage click here http://wap.alertnet.org/thenews/fromthefield/217440/fc83776947d304cdf4fe794a254c83b0.htm