When women in Niger lose their husbands, the pressures of trying to provide for their children can be huge – especially when trying to deal with a painful loss. Islamic Relief is supporting widows with training and loans to start small businesses, not only helping them earn an income but to become independent and confident too.
“The most painful thing is losing your love, and the struggle to feed your family.”
Halimatou Gambo lost her husband 19 years ago, and although Islamic Relief can’t replace the love she lost, we have helped her to feed her family – and now she’s helping other widows too, with our support.
Islamic Relief’s livelihoods programme in Niger provides women like Halimatou with training and small interest-free loans to start up small businesses, enabling them to support their families alone. We’ve helped start enterprises to collect firewood, sell fruit and nuts, grind maize…even rear goats!
Halimatou is now President of the Widows Association, a group of women who have lost their husbands and are now trying to provide for their children alone. Women in the Association support one another and work together to strengthen their businesses.
“I have learned so much from the different trainings given to us by Islamic Relief,” said mother-of-six Aissa Soumana, who lost her husband a decade ago. “We benefit a lot from the long-term loans.”
With your support, Islamic Relief has helped these strong women thrive and become self-reliant during one of the most difficult times of their lives. The impacts aren’t just financial – they build the women’s confidence too. Halimatou told us: “Now that we have assistance…we believe we can sustain ourselves.”
Islamic Relief has worked in Niger since 2005, where we work to provide healthcare, water and sanitation, nutrition and child support, as well as livelihoods programmes like this one.