Innovative investment brings clean energy and water to African women

Askalech Abera, a mother of four expecting her fifth child, lives just outside Arba Minch in southern Ethiopia. Like most women in the community, she had to walk an hour each way to collect water for her family that was often dirty and contaminated. A new Mercy Partnership Fund investment is supporting an innovative approach to bringing clean energy and water to Ethiopia and Eritrea to reduce the burden on women like Askalech.  

Vita Green Impact Fund’s community-led model provides fuel-efficient cook stoves, water point repairs to access clean water and community reforestation programs in rural African communities in Ethiopia and Eritrea in dire need of sustainable conservation services. These services empower women to improve their health and that of their family’s, while reducing harmful carbon emissions. Askalech now has a water point that she can see from her door, giving her more time with her children and preventing health issues she experienced during her other pregnancies. 

Mercy Partnership Fund’s investment, which will help support the expansion of Vita’s work to 1.6 million households, is the latest in a long history of Mercy collaborations with Vita, an Irish nongovernmental organization, including the Northern Ireland Province, Western Province, the Sisters of Mercy Union (U.K.), the Sisters of Mercy Congregation in Ireland and the Sisters of Mercy in Newfoundland, Canada.

“Vita’s mission closely aligns with the Sisters of Mercy’s critical concerns for earth and for women,” says Sarah Smith, director of Mercy Partnership Fund for Mercy Investment Services. “Our investment continues the partnership that Sisters of Mercy congregations around the globe have established with Vita, and we hope that it will encourage other faith-based investors to support Vita’s innovative model to benefit women in Africa.” Watch this short video to see how the program has benefited women in Ethiopia.

Mercy Partnership Fund invests in more than 60 mission-driven organizations in all 50 states and 60 countries. 

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