Akola’s education programs address the financial education and planning gaps that hinder members’ ability to translate their increased access to capital into a sustainable income that can support her family’s basic needs and personal goals.
Through a personalized goal program, each woman sets an annual development goal (i.e. start a poultry side business or buy a tin roof) based on her needs and hopes for her family and community. Akola staff trains a small group of Akola members to serve as Peer Mentors, who guide their fellow members through the goal setting and planning process. Mentors and members track their progress monthly as well as attend classes in financial literacy, budgeting and English. Additionally, Akola supports the women with educational seminars based on the trends in their goals. In 2015, these seminars have covered the topics of maternal health, agriculture and HIV/AIDS. This participatory approach ensures that Akola members have a voice throughout the entire process of empowerment.