Holistic Development Programs

A K O L A  H O L I S T I C  P R O G R A M M I N G  

 

Akola uses our social business as a platform to launch programs that benefit women and families in poverty.  *Akola relies solely on donations to fund our programs

 

 

B U S I N E S S  D E V E L O P M E N T

 

B U S I N E S S  D E V E L O P M E N T

  

Our  business programs  address the  financial  education and  planning  gaps that are  hindering our  members’ ability to translate their increased access to capital and their increased sense of self into small business initiatives in their communities. Each year topics will be chosen based on an analysis of the goals our members have chosen, to ensure that our programming best supports their growth in the areas they have chosen. Examples of small business educational programming might be how to assess if there is a market for your product, how to calculate when you project to earn back your initial investment, how to keep records, components of customer service,  and  small-scale  marketing.  Through  these programs, women  learn  the process of goal  setting  and planning, which will enable each member to take ownership of her own development.

 

F I N A C I A L  L I T E R A C Y 

 

Akola programs include robust financial literacy training including budgeting, savings and loans.  Family and Business Budgeting helps members better manage their finances to meet their goals. Our courses include wants vs. needs, income vs. expenditure,  and  discussions  around  why  it is important  to  keep  family and business finances separate. During these classes we look at different types of growth financing, from loans with interest to savings to savings with interest. We have interactive activities to allow our members to practice balancing a budget, determining the viability of a hypothetical business, and determining which types of growth capital are appropriate for which types of opportunities. 

 

 

H E A L T H  P R O G R A M S

 

H I V / A I D S   C O U N S E L I N G  &  T E S T I N G 

 

Akola Project partners with the Aids Information Center in Jinja to provide HIV testing and counseling to all Akola members in Eastern Uganda. THE AIC counselors meet with each member to review the results of the test,  and for those who tested positive,  the counselors offer additional  emotional support,  as well as  practical information about where the member can receive free HIV/AIDS treatment. 

 

M A L A R I A   T E S T I N G 

Akola Project partners with the AIC to host a “Lunch and Learn” seminars where the AIC gives talks on malaria. Akola also sponsors free malaria blood tests.

 

T U B E R C U L O S I S   E D U C A T I O N 

 

Akola Project partners with the AIC to launch informational seminars on the dangers of TB. TB has particular relevance for our members because among those at the highest risk for TB are babies and young children, and those who are HIV positive. The seminar shares about the types of TB, how TB works, the symptoms of TB, how TB is different from other diseases, how to prevent TB, and how to treat TB.

 

V I S I O N   M A I N T E N A N C E 

 

Akola provides free vision tests and provides reading glasses for women in the program.

 

 

F A M I L Y   P L A N N I N G   &   M A T E R N A L   H E A L T H   S E M I N A R 

 

Akola partners with the Uganda Village Project to offer our members in Eastern Uganda programs on family planning and   maternal health. The programs covers the importance of family planning, myths and misconceptions and presents healthy family planning methods.

 

 

L E A D E R S H I P   D E V E L O P M E N T

 

A P P R E C I A T I V E    I N Q U I R Y 

 

Each month’s curriculum incorporates appreciative inquiry, which encourages the women to identify and focus on the strengths they see in themselves and their communities, allowing them to build on the positive present to achieve their vision for a better future. 

 

L E A D E R S H I P   T R A I N I N G

 

Akola hosts seminars on leadership and professionalism to teach members about 10 traits of professionalism (respect, roles, boundaries, appearance, hierarchy, support, confidentiality, relationships, trust, and appreciation). 

 

P A R T I C I P A T O R Y   M O N I T O R I N G  &  E V A L U A T I N G

 

Akola’s monitoring tools draw on leading development philosophy including Participatory Learning and Action (PLA). PLA uses pictures and mapping to communicate to our illiterate members. PLA encourages members to explain the change they see in themselves in their own words and decide the indicators that are important to them. 

 

 

M I N I S T R Y   P R O G R A M S 

 

V I L L A G E   F E L L O W S H I P

Village Fellowship is a small group program with the goal of creating a space for members to grapple more deeply with the word of God. Each member has the opportunity to meet once a month with her small group. Village Fellowship also serves as an opportunity for Akola to identify and cultivate strong leaders in our village programs.

 

*During Village Fellowship members have asked each other “How can we know God?” and “What about us shows that we are made in the image of God?” As the women grow more comfortable with engaging directly with  scripture, they  are  increasingly  able  to identify ways in which  individual verses  apply directly to their everyday lives. 

 

S C R I P T U R E   S E A R C H 

 

Akola incorporates World Vision’s Scripture Search model to encourage participants to share their experiences as they relate to a particular verse or passage. This activity also encourages interfaith dialogue between Akola members. 

 

*During an evaluation of the program at the six-month mark, one member revealed she was so thankful for a program that “teaches the gospel instead of preaches the gospel.”

 

 

 

S U P P O R T  P R O G R A M S

 

W E L L N E S S

 

Akola promotes women in the program to become wellness officers to support fellow Akola members in times  of loss by  aattending funerals,  births  and  weddings.  Wellness  Officers also visit very sick 

members to offer practical and spiritual support.  

 

M E A S U R I N G  P R O G R E S S 

 

Each year, Akola members are presented with 60 pictures illustrating activities and emotions from daily life. Each member selects the 5 pictures that she feels best represent her current view of her own skills, strengths,  potential,  and/or fears.  A  trained  Team Leader  then  transcribes  personal  traits  into the Empowerment M&E database to measure our wellness efforts.