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BOMA’s Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) is a data-driven, high impact poverty graduation program for women in the arid and semi-arid lands of Africa. We put ultra-poor women at the center of our work by helping them build a pathway out of extreme poverty. REAP addresses three elements that contribute to the cycle of aid dependency in the arid lands of Africa: low incomes, inconsistent cash flows and inadequate financial services for poor rural women. Profits from each REAP business provide a diversified income, while BOMA savings associations help women to manage cash flow (for daily needs), plan for future expenses (such as school fees and medical care), and respond to shocks (such as drought or family emergencies).
Against a backdrop of failed aid efforts and few-to-no peers working in its target geographic regions, BOMA is proving that a gender-focused poverty graduation program can improve the lives of women in rural Africa – specifically in arid lands where more than 12 million people face the most dire threats to food, water, economic, and political security.