HD Kathleen Colson, The BOMA Project
The BOMA Project (BOMA) is a U.S nonprofit and Kenyan non-governmental organization (NGO) with a proven track record of success, measurable results, and a transformative approach to alleviating poverty, building resiliency, and empowering women and girls in the drylands of Africa.In recent years, repeated cycles of severe drought and conflict over dwindling grazing lands and water resources have driven pastoralist communities in the arid and semi-arid lands of Africa deeper into poverty with women and children bearing the brunt of the adverse impact of climate change and a system of aid dependence. BOMA helps women and children break the intergenerational cycle of extreme poverty through an innovative, culturally-adapted Poverty Graduation program called Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP). REAP offers a two-year sequence of interventions that empowers ultra-poor women to start and build businesses and savings groups, and gain skills and resources needed to increase their financial and food security, build their resilience to climate and economic shocks, and invest in their children’s health and education. Since 2009, BOMA has helped more than 170,000 women and children graduate from extreme poverty in Northern Kenya and the Karamoja region of Uganda. By reinventing the graduation model as a high-impact, low-cost investment, supported with data and measurements, BOMA is demonstrating a new future of development, social protection and humanitarian response to governments and NGOs.