Perhaps the best way to explain the Spice Grinder project is to tell you a story...
While in Ethiopia in 2013, we met a group of women sitting on the ledge of the base of the buildings, carefully cleaning pieces of cotton, stretching it and then spinning it on to a bobbin. These women had received training and encouragement from Kingdom Vision International and formed a group three years before our visit. The members were determined to save 50 birr (about $0.13 US) each week to hold in an account and later reinvest in their group.
The women were overjoyed when we announced a donation of 20,000 birr (equivalent to $1,080 US). They immediately raised their hands towards heaven and said, “Hallelujah, amen." They stood up and spontaneously started to dance and sing and clap.
Two of us sat and spoke with the two treasurers of the group to ask what they would like to do with the donated funds, and hear more about their ideas and plans for the group. We were absolutely blown away at their responses which included:
- a long term plan of to continue spinning cotton and selling it for a profit
- making loans available to individual women in the group so they could start small businesses
- investing in goats and corn when the prices were cheaper and selling when they could make a profit
The next phase of the program was to purchase a grinding machine so the women could grind grain and spices to sell. The ultimate goal is to open a store in their community that will sell vegetables, spices and other necessities. These women impressed us so much with their detailed plans, perseverance, determination, patience, and capabilities that we decided to inject the additional money they needed to take their plan to the next level. We made a $10,000 donation to pay for a spice grinder and a building to house the grinder.
When they heard this news, the women immediately bowed their heads or looked heavenward and praised God. Not one moment of hesitation elapsed before the women gave God the glory and the credit. The women said over and over that the donation was a miracle from God. They started to sing and dance once again and we could actually feel the ground below our feet moving with the steps of the dancing.
The chairperson of the group told us that when one person faces trouble, they leave or get lost; when they are in a community, they remain together. The women said that one day they believe this group will set a national example.
It is our privilege to empower women like these. We invite you to join us.