Many impoverished communities around within the Sub-Sahara Africa communities are ripe with natural resources, but lack the knowledge or opportunity necessary to form a market and delivery system to distribute and gain profit from their goods.
Working at both the grassroots and global trading levels, DACT helps to lay the groundwork for business in Sub-Sahara Africa countries, to promote entrepreneurship at the community level, which aims to create sustainable food and income security.
Far removed from the technology, commerce and infrastructure of modern cities, many people living in remote areas throughout Africa live traditional lifestyles characterized by acute poverty. The cycle of poverty for the people in these communities is perpetual and is due to a combination of several factors including, poor infrastructure, lack of education, and limited sources of food and income.
In Africa, 80 percent of the population lives in rural areas and almost half (40-45 percent) of this population lives on less than $0.45 a day. More than 70 percent rely entirely on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods, but most do not make enough to provide their family with ample food or to send their children to school.
Women and girls suffer disproportionately due to this extreme poverty. They not only work harder within the village, but they are sometimes forced to migrate to urban areas to work in garment factories or as domestic helpers or sex workers, and are often subject to domestic violence. More than one-third of women working in the sex industry in Cambodia came from rural, subsistence farms – poverty is a root cause of human trafficking in Cambodia.
DACT program focuses on advancing to Sub-Sahara Africa communities through the empowerment of women. By providing women with economic development opportunities, education and health care, entire families and communities are inspired to seek the dignity and hope of a life free from extreme poverty.
DACT provides women in rural areas with the tools and resources they need to increase their family’s income. Through regular training and seminars, women trained by DACT will have learned how to improve their farming or their vocational training skills, add new, more profitable crops, build a family budget and better manage their small businesses.
DACT addresses domestic violence in the home and surrounding communities and works to informs girls and women on the dangers of trafficking and forced prostitution. Additionally, women learn how to keep their families safe should they choose to move to a city or larger community. By increasing personal and community awareness, women and girls are not as easily deceived by traffickers preying on the desperation that springs from poverty.
DACT helps to increase access to safe drinking water, thereby decreasing waterborne disease especially amongst children, and to decrease the burden on women.
DACT’s Partnerships program connects organizations with specific African villages to address multiple needs and act as a comprehensive response to the cycle of poverty. DACT Partnerships train and empower community leaders, focusing on supporting sustainable activities that result in economic stability and enhanced livelihoods. Growth, food security, education, agribusiness and community health are addressed in a coordinated way to bring lasting improvement.
By partnering with community leaders and the local organizations, DACT utilizes a carefully guided multi-year holistic development process designed to continue on its own after DACT involvement has concluded. DACT’s development philosophy centers on the belief that vulnerable communities need knowledge and resources that foster empowerment instead of dependence. This allows villages to take responsibility and ownership of the transformation process, advocating for changes that best address their individual community’s needs.
As the goal of the DACT Partnership program is community empowerment and transformation, DACT supports individuals in identifying their most pressing needs, and trains communities to make sound decisions and take action towards change. DACT’s responsibility as a successful development organization is to partner with each community to provide knowledge, resources, counsel and opportunity. Combining the unique assets each community has at its disposal, strategic material investments and individual and community-based training, village partnerships produce tangible results.