The 100WEEKS-method draws on the Graduation Approach, as pioneered by BRAC and further developed by CGAP. We provide cash and training to people living in extreme poverty which allows them to establish sustainable livelihoods on their own terms.
We believe that almost all people living in poverty have the capacity to improve their situation. They simply lack the means. A temporary financial intervention can change their lives forever. As little as 8 euros a week for 100 weeks.
1. Overcome scarcity
People living in extreme poverty are often stuck in a survival mindset: their next meal is all that matters. Once their basic needs are met, they are able to focus on the future.
2. Invest in a better future
No longer engaged in a daily struggle for survival, 100WEEKS-participants shift their focus. Most women invest in a new small business, expand an existing one, or buy land and livestock.
3. Increase human capital
The women receive training in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and life skills in peer groups. Through mutual support their social capital is increased.
4. Escaping poverty
During the two years the program lasts, the women develop sustainable livelihoods. After 100 weeks, most have sustainably moved out of poverty.
Endgame: Financial inclusion and a better life
Living in poverty can ingrain a scarcity mindset. Habits need to be changed and skills learned before a woman can break this self-perpetuating cycle. A better financial position creates preconditions for improvement in other areas of the women’s lives, including health, educational opportunity and social empowerment. After graduating from the 100WEEKS program, many of the women have become eligible for their first microcredit.
The current pandemic has upended a decades-long trend that saw global poverty decrease. Worldwide, people living in extreme poverty have been particularly hard hit, not just by the virus, but by the subsequent lockdown measures as well.
Cash transfers have a key part to play in combating the fallout of the coronavirus, especially in low-income countries, where people cannot afford to stay home. In a oft-cited essay published by The Economist, MIT scientist and 2019 Nobel Prize winner Esther Duflo called for widespread distribution of cash to the poorest, not only to their benefit, but to ensure the swift rebound of the global economy after the pandemic ends as well.
Shortly after the first global wave of lockdowns we conducted a program-wide survey, asking all 100WEEKS-participants about the effects COVID-19 had wrought on their lives. Though few had suffered ill effects on their health, virtually all had paid a financial price as local economies grinded to a halt in the wake of the virus. Weekly payments proved to be an indispensable safety net for all our participants. Clear proof that the world needs cash transfers now more than ever.