_MG_1325“I want all my children to go to school, especially my girls.”

Paulina Adapal, BOMA Graduate, Northern Kenya


The United Nations (UN) first celebrated March 8th as the International Women’s Day in 1975. In 1977, the UN declared March 8th as the official day for women’s rights and world peace.

What do women’s rights have to do with world peace and prosperity? Everything.

Women’s economic participation and their ownership and control of productive assets speeds up development, helps overcome poverty, reduces inequalities and improves children’s nutrition, health, and school attendance. Women spend 90% of their earned income on their families (compared to 30-40% for men). If women participated in the global economy identically to men, it would add up to $28 trillion, or 26 percent, to annual global GDP by 2025.

BOMA works in drylands of Africa, at the epicenter of extreme poverty, chronic hunger, gender inequality, low literacy, and climate change. BOMA’s Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) gives the poorest most vulnerable women in the world the resources, tools and training to transform not only their lives, but their households and communities as well.

This International Women’s Day, we celebrate REAP graduates like Paulina Adapal who are lifting themselves and their families out of poverty. These proud women are building a better future for their kids, and are uplifting their communities and the world around them.

When Paulina joined REAP in 2017, she used to sell charcoal and earned barely enough to feed her five children. Today, she is a BOMA graduate, a confident business owner, and a woman determined to educate her children. She is also educating other women in her community to take better care of their land and the environment.

“Now my children are well-fed. I want all my children to go to school, especially my girls. I am going to work hard for this business so they can continue their schooling to the end”

says Paulina. “I now know that making charcoal hurts our trees and hurts our land,” she says. “I tell other women that we do not need to do this charcoal business. I have stopped, and they can too.”

Click here to watch Paulina’s story in her own words.

With profound gratitude,

John Stephens, Executive Director, and the BOMA Team


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