CPISP Scholar Elham Yusuf, who is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Psychology at Claremont McKenna College, California, is also a full ride scholar for the Human Rights Center for Leadership at Claremont. This summer, Elham is being sponsored by the Center for an internship in Bududa, Uganda, where she is working at the Bududa Learning Center (BLC) in their Women’s Microfinance Bududa (WMB) program.
She explains, “I am currently creating a sponsors program for the women so that each woman can get a sponsor who offers her a yearly grant to sustain her business and reach her potential beyond basic necessities of just food and shelter. I am also doing home visits and personal interviews of the WMB women and their businesses to send to our donors.” In addition, Elham has enhanced marketing and communication aspects of their microfinance web page, and helps with administrative work, accounting, and financial matters.
“Borrowing money in Uganda is cost-prohibitive, so these loans create real opportunities for the disadvantaged. From making chapattis in the market to establishing their own hair salon, these women are able to run and expand their own businesses. In a culture where women’s rights are often restricted, financial independence gives them a sense of confidence and empowerment in the work field. The women were able to achieve some financial security in their household, secure accessible education for their children, buy food, sanitary supplies and medicine, and save money.
I love my internship because it promotes my creative skills for marketing and economic development in rural areas. I truly hope to finalize my idea for the sponsors program because I believe in sustainable action against poverty and hunger in Bududa for women.”