A new package in disparate villages in Rwanda claims it can create small businesses, provide life-changing access to information and empower women within their households and communities. The package comes in the form of a loan that enables the enterprising villager to buy a digital Global System Mobile (gsm), or in other words, a phone. The proud owner then launches a public phone business that generates enough income to repay the loan and to reinvest elsewhere.
The Village Phone scheme is the creation of the Grameen Foundation, usa, in collaboration with three Rwandan microfinance institutions, namely, mtn RwandaCell, Urwego, and care Rwanda. Ryan Stanley, a project manager, says that the phone transforms how its users know and understand the world, enabling them to access market information that can help increase profits and reduce expenses. He states that 99 per cent of the operators are women who now benefit from greater economic independence and thus gain the confidence to assert their rights.
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