In the poorest countries, gender inequality limits the opportunities available for women and girls. At Camps International we develop and run projects that are designed to support the women in these countries and give them the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.
All our camps are located within rural communities where poverty levels are high and gender inequality is prevalent. Through close partnership with community leaders, we develop projects that tackle these issues at the root cause.
Rather than provide handouts, we provide the resources and infrastructure needed to empower women to support themselves sustainably, now and in the future.
This International Women’s Day we’re shining the spotlight on some of our long-term projects which have helped to support thousands of women in the regions we work with across the globe.
Supporting women’s education and employment in Kenya
Gender inequality is prevalent in Kenya with most women having limited access to education, land and employment. This is a huge disadvantage when it comes to earning an income and providing for their families.
The Women’s groups of Maungu near our Camp Tsavo, aim to support the education and employment of local women by giving them a way to earn an income through creating and developing sustainable cottage industries.
During the 7 years that we have worked with the group, our volunteers have helped to build the group a community centre where they are able to meet for regular meetings, hold training sessions and use the space to start their own businesses. Our volunteers have also supported the group by helping to make elephant dung paper, jewellery and furniture which can be sold to make an income and have purchased the final products to support the women of the group.
Through our long-term support of this group, we’ve helped to make a positive impact to the lives of the local women in Kenya by giving them access to a sustainable income and we will continue to support them in the future.
Enabling women to keep working in Peru
In rural areas of Peru, men will usually go away to work for weeks at a time, leaving childcare solely down to the women of the family. This puts a strain on the welfare of the young children and discourages the women from working.
The women in Peru are often responsible for securing food, water and shelter for their families, all of which is unpaid work. The women that do have paid work, often work in the handicraft sector but struggle to maintain employment due to lack of childcare facilities.
In the rural community of Pinchollo, near our Camp Colca, we agreed to help build a kindergarten to provide a safe and productive learning space for children. This enables mothers to have time to work and provide further for their family.
This project not only benefits the women in the community, but also the young children that use the kindergarten and we have since replicated the success of this project and continued to build kindergartens in all our regions around the world to support mothers in other communities. It is an ongoing project as it continues to develop as the community grows.
Providing safe housing for vulnerable women in Cambodia
In Cambodia, a lack of adequate housing has resulted in thousands of people without a suitable place to live. During adverse weather conditions, the houses are damaged or fall into disrepair due to poor quality materials. This can leave vulnerable people homeless with an increased risk of injury and illness.
This is the case for a local family of six consisting of three generations living in the village of Beng Pae. After an accident, both women in the family lost their husbands leaving just the two of them to care for four children in a small dilapidated home.
With the help of our amazing volunteer teams and local Camp Cambodia staff, we undertook the project of building the family a new home built in the traditional style, to give them with a safe place to raise the young children. We also provided them with a garden to grow fresh fruits and vegetables to supply them with a sustainable food source. A well was also built on their land providing a sustainable water source for the whole community to benefit from.
Since the project was completed the women have thrived. The children are cared for by their grandmother whilst their mother goes to work to provide an income for the family meaning they are now able to live a more comfortable life.
Our housing and welfare projects continue to help support the most vulnerable members of communities, with over 50 homes built and renovated to date and more planned for the future.
We are incredibly proud to see the impact of these projects over the years, thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and close relationships with local communities. If you would like to get involved in similar projects, take a look at how you can join our impact-filled Independent Volunteering Program or School Expeditions.