Enugu is well known for its poultry industry and most local restaurants offer one type of chicken dish or another. An international non-governmental organization (NGO) works with village women to become farmers; some of whom choose to form poultry cooperatives and tap this market. The NGO targets socially excluded women in countries where war and conflict have devastated their lives and communities. In Nigeria women face numerous obstacles associated with economics, culture, and 30+ years of military rule: illiteracy, limited formal schooling, child marriage, human trafficking to pay off debts, marital rape and/or female genital cutting. Currently, 64% of program participants cannot read or write, 34% have no formal education, and 87% have no electricity or running water in their homes.
Although one or more of these items have limited women?s options in the past, the NGO's training has provided participants the opportunity to think differently about themselves and their role in society. When asked, the women say they have been given another life: the ability to earn money, send their children to school and have more self-confidence. Grace is one such woman. "I have more peace of mind and in my home," says Grace as a result of the program and her work at the cooperative.
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