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51 Sherbrooke W., Montreal, QC. Canada, H5Z 4T9.

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Funding Area: Poverty Alleviation

Studio Samuel is an Internationally Licensed NGO dedicated to lifting girls and women from poverty through our proven teach a woman to fish model, which is incorporated in each of our three programs. By removing barriers to her education, the impact on our graduates’ futures increases exponentially on her path to independence, leadership, and viable employment.

Our involvement: The Marty Tomberg Charitable Fund has financially supported this organization.

Projects We Support

Menstrual Kit Initiative

Without access to menstrual supplies, adolescent girls cannot attend school.
Studio Samuel students address this by making reusable menstrual kits and distributing them to their peers.

According to UNESCO, more than 132 million primary and secondary age girls across the globe do not attend school. Approximately 75% of that number refers to adolescents in particular. Obstacles denying girls an education include poverty, child labor, child marriage, trafficking, early pregnancy, gender violence, and lack of feminine-hygiene products.

While Studio Samuel’s two empowering programs address all these issues, our popular Menstrual Kit Initiative focuses specifically on feminine hygiene for girls who do attend school—to help keep them there.

Studio Samuel’s Menstrual Kit Initiative, which we implement every two years before Training for Tomorrow graduation, requires our 100 students—girls 9-18 years old—to work as a team for their final project. Together, the girls create, sew, package, distribute 1,000 menstrual kits to their peers in nearby rural areas.

Support Dates:  March, 2021 – March, 2022

Studio Samuel Women’s Small Business Program

Our Women’s Small Business Program advances Studio Samuel’s “teach a woman to fish” model by empowering female heads of households [ages 24+] to take leadership roles in the community as entrepreneurs. Our initial program began in January 2018 with 50 microloans; by March 2020, 201 female entrepreneurs were running businesses and supporting their peers to encourage the next in line. 

The ripple effect of this success impacts our entire community as it uplifts the economy, keeps female heads-of- household gainfully employed, and ensures our current 100 students [ages 9-18] continue Training for Tomorrow [which, in turn, impacts 1,000 more girls through our Menstrual Kit Program]. In order to receive a microloan, our students’ female caregivers apply, as do other female heads of household in our community. Studio Samuel initially approves 50 recipients and provides a small loan [$100-$500USD] for such small businesses as bread [injera]- making, laundry industries, clothing & home goods sales, and food vendors [coffee, french fries, sambusas, spices] * Loans range from $100-$500USD; We average $300 per loan for the first 50 women to reach $15,000. 

* Each loan recipient must complete our 2-week course in Smart Business Practices & Financial Literacy, taught by our full-time accredited accountant, Meryem Shemsu, at our Training for Tomorrow Center. Ms. Shemsu also oversees loan repayment and is available for financial consultations as necessary. * Ms. Shemsu and her Women’s Small Business project managers make regular site visits to our loan recipients’ businesses, which we have found to be productive for the program. 

* Each businesswoman has regular access to our Training for Tomorrow Computer Lab [when classes are not in session], where she can manage her accounting, inventory, and administrative responsibilities, and get any necessary help from Ms. Shemsu. * Once her business is up and running, each entrepreneur repays her loan, which goes to the next woman, who takes the required 2-week course and starts her business. This process repeats itself continually as loans are repaid. 

2023 – 2024 Grant Cycle

Expanding this program to a second sub-city that we’re licensed to work in (Yeka) will create more jobs for women, keep their girls in school, and boost the local economy.

Support Dates:  March, 2022 – – March, 2024

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