Friday, November 21

YMCA Women's Training Program

The YMCA Women's Training Program (WTP) is one of MCC's partners here in Israel/Palestine. The YMCA works with women and their families in small villages and partners with them by giving loans for animal production and agriculture. They provide 6-9 month training sessions where they teach about economic development and marketing, as well as agriculture and animal husbandry.

One man who works part-time with the YMCA recently told us that the reason he likes working there is because they deliberately seek out the poorest of the poor and try to help them change their lives. In their training sessions, trainers look for responses in the women depending on the topic; for example, if they begin talking about raising chickens and notice that some women are suddenly more interested, trainers make a note of it, and if those women ask for loans regarding chickens, they're usually approved. The YMCA tries to provide a means of earning income that beneficiaries are passionate about.

When beneficiaries have paid back their loans, they're given a certificate from the YMCA showing that they've paid the loan back in full. This woman showed us her certificate on a recent visit. She was extremely proud of the fact that she and her family were able to earn enough income from their grape arbors that they could pay back their loan. This system allows people a chance to improve their financial situation with help from an outside organization, but allows them to do so with dignity and a sense of pride in their accomplishment.

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