Written by Sharlene A. Teefey, MD, professor in the Department of Radiology at the School of Medicine
Microfinancing Partners in Africa is a Saint Louis-based organization whose mission is to provide grants and direct funding to strengthen and expand microfinancing programs in Africa, and to empower those living in extreme poverty by providing access to financial services and education. The organization was founded by Sister Toni Temporiti in 2006 and has grown to include programs in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and the Congo. Each program is unique in that they are designed to meet the needs of the local people and to be run by local leaders.
One such program in Uganda provides a pregnant heifer to a family after they have met all the requirements and made all the preparations to receive the cow. The cow provides a source of milk for the family and also income through selling extra milk. Recently, a bakery project has been started in Tanzania and has been so successful that the model will be used in other countries.
Another project in Uganda focuses on women who have developed fistulas after delivering a baby. The local hospital holds four fistula repair clinics each year. Microfinancing Partners in Africa is now supporting a pig project to help the women earn an income after surgery; 70 women have now received pigs and more than 100 are waiting to receive pigs.
We are currently in early discussions with the hospital to develop a program to prevent fistulas. We are also actively applying for grants and are now collecting pilot data for many of the programs to strengthen the grant applications. I would be more than happy to talk with anyone interested in our programs.
Learn more about Microfinancing Partners in Africa at their website. If you are interested in connecting with Dr. Teefey, you can get in touch at email@example.com.