Petros Network has a holistic approach to the expressing God’s love and developing the indigenous leader, both men and women in Africa. We focuse on creating Redemptive Lift in a community by collaborating with like-minded individuals and organizations to fund and assist in relief and development. This includes Empowering Women, Protecting Children, Feeding Families, Improving Healthcare, Educating Out of Poverty, Providing Clean Water, Building Character Through Sports.
Petros Network initiated The TESFA Project as a means to assist Women at Risk and Vulnerable Children trapped in devastating poverty without creating a continued reliance on first world funding. Activities include investing in impoverished widowed women through financial support (micro grants or meaningful work), education, and life-skill development.
WHY WIDOWED WOMEN WITH CHILDREN?
Research confirms income earned and controlled by women is directly channeled to their children, who eat better, get healthier and stay in school longer. When you help a widowed mother you also help her children — the impact is exponential.
In Ethiopia we identified widowed women with children as women most at risk — pushed to the very margins of society, trapped in extreme poverty, and left vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. The plight of widow’s children is alarming as well as they are typically living with impoverished mindsets, forced into daily labor, unable to go to school, scorned by society, and left without hope and a future.
We also have a scriptural mandate to care for widows and orphans found in James 1:27, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”
WHY THE NAME THE TESFA PROJECT?
TESFA in Amharic means HOPE. This name may need some explanation in the USA or Canada, but in Ethiopia The TESFA Project and The TESFA CENTER immediately translates to a place of hope and development.
WHY THE NEED FOR A CENTER?
In 2010 we piloted a Widow’s Microfinance Program and selected 12 widows, one from each church in Gojo and 4 from the government. Our experience during our pilot program was some of the women were not ready to take the responsibility of running their own businesses, but still longed for meaningful work.
Our experience has led us to direct the women into two categories: (1) personal business entrepreneurship (2) meaningful work. The next question became, “Where do they work?” The TESFA Project was launched and The TESFA Center was initiated as a training center, a facility to house viable businesses, and a physical lighthouse for vulnerable women in the community.
WHAT BUSINESSES WERE SELECTED?
Selecting business opportunities that meet immediate needs in the community is critical to our success. Our research has led us to advance a Guest House, a Sewing/Craft Center, a Restaurant/Internet Cafe, and an in-house Medical Clinic focusing on women’s issues.