Women’s Empowerment/Pay It Forward Loans
Our Africa Story
In 2014, The Lisa Stirrett Glass Art Studio began selling tea lights to help raise money to build a health care center in Burkina Faso, West Africa with Walk in the Light International. Our local community supported the cause which built excitement and anticipation to go see the healthcare center. In June 2015, Lisa and Tara went to see the buildings being built.
While in the village, something miraculous happened. An interpreter came up to Lisa and Tara and said there were women there to see them. A large group of beautiful ladies were lined up waiting. They said they had been praying for help to come. They needed a grain grinder as they still used mortar and pestle. After meeting and listening to these ladies, Lisa and Tara sat down under a tree to excitedly discuss the possibilities of helping these ladies. Fifteen minutes later, the interpreter came up and said there was another large group who had traveled to see them. They also said, “We have been waiting for you to come, we have been praying for you to come”. They needed tools to work the land.
It was at this time that Lisa and Tara met their now in-country director, Vivian. She did not know English at first, but she has since learned. Vivian loves the Lord, and has a big heart to help the women in her country. The Lisa Stirrett Glass Art Studio now employs Vivian with assistants in each village to help oversee The Pay It Forward Loan program.
The Pay It Forward Loan Program is a partnership with Walk In the Light International. It is a no fee, no interest loan program where Vivian helps the ladies create an in country sustainable business plan for Lisa to approve, and find the money to fund their business.
Here are some important details on this program:
- The studio pays for all the administrative costs so 100% of the donated money keeps rolling from one lady to the next.
- We have Short term and long term educational loans available.
- There are over 100 women in the program.
- We have a 100% payback rate.
- We provide a week long business training program prior to starting a business.
- Week-long business training programs have been started in 5 villages and in the capital city.
- We have started a 3 year accredited sewing school program that equips graduates to take a national test to either run their own business or work for the government. While in school they donate their time to make period pads for the school girls.
- We have also started chicken farms and gardens to help feed the school children.
Our vision is to become a globally recognized art brand that empowers women. We are committed to that vision through our glass artwork and our work with women in Burkina Faso, West Africa. As a partnership, we created the Pay It Forward Loan program to help women in Burkina start their own businesses. Through sales of our glass work and donations, we have successfully developed and funded thriving spice, leather, soap, jewelry, pig farming businesses, and more.
100% of every dollar donated goes toward funding a business loan. Once repaid, all of the proceeds fund another loan so your gift truly keeps on giving.
Want to get involved? Make a tax-deductible donation here: Pay It Forward Loans or buy a Tea Light or Handmade Necklace from the Lisa Stirrett Glass Art Studio and a portion of your purchase will go to fund a woman’s business in Africa.
Meet some of our women!
Can you help fund their need?
Call the studio at (360) 613-5472 to donate!
Other Opportunities to help
Fund a Village Farm & Garden
The Farm and Garden will be part of Walk in the Light’s curriculum to teach agriculture, vet care, feeding, and breeding of animals.