LOUISE LANGI – HELPING WOMEN OF BENIN REALIZE THEIR DREAMS

Published on The Hunger Project – Australia

Louise Langi is a 42-year-old woman from Benin, who is committed to helping women in her village realise their dreams.  Louise and her husband farm and deal in fruit, corn and peanuts to provide for their 6 children.

Through The Hunger Project’s Vision, Commitment, Action (VCA) workshops – Louise has learned financial literacy and healthcare skills that she uses to empower women of her village to create better lives for themselves and their families.

She was elected by her community to lead the Women’s Credit Group because she is a powerful communicator with strong ideas and vision for the future.

She helps to distribute credit made available through the bank and advises women on how to run more effective trades. She calls the women of her group together twice a month to discuss the issues they face in their trades and how they can overcome them. She takes great pride in representing their interests and uses the meetings as an opportunity to pass on other valuable information learned through her VCA training, such as;

• How to prepare healthy meals for children
• The importance of good nutrition
• Disease prevention and vaccination
• Good hygiene practices

Preparing the meetings takes a lot of time and she guides those who need extra support individually. Louise runs weekly literacy classes, where they can learn to read and write, and feels great joy from seeing the women, and her wider community, develop.

“In the VCA workshops I have learned to have more confidence and my whole attitude has changed. I also learned to read and write in the literacy course of the Epicentre. I want to pass on that knowledge.  That is why I also give a group of women a weekly lesson in reading and writing. I would like to accompany all these women to achieve what they want. To realise their dreams…This way we will continue together as a community!”

Before her involvement with The Hunger project, Louise says her voice was not heard in village discussions. Now, she can communicate her ideas with clarity and confidence, and is increasingly involved in other decision-making processes within her community. As a village council member, improving the health or her village and the facilities available to them is one of her priorities.

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