Grassroots Economic Development

Small business owners in informal settlements around the world depend on each other for purchasing goods and services to meet their daily needs. During hard economic times, businesses still have goods and services to offer yet lack a means of exchange (i.e., money). To provide this means of exchange, Koru created the Bangla-Pesa complementary currency, a community issued interest-free credit. Bangla-Pesa helps small businesses (75% of which are owned and operated by women) in informal settlements exchange their goods and services, even when they lack enough money due to poverty and economic downturns.

Banks loans are too expensive. Aid is not sustainable. Bangla-Pesa is interest-free and lasts as long as the community needs it.

Panty recipients in Mombasa Kenya.

Women's Empowerment

Empowering women through community outreaches in the following key areas: Needs Assessments—engaging in group and individual discussions to identify the needs of vulnerable women. Peer Education—related to self-esteem, women’s rights, gender based violence, and income generation. Sexual and Reproductive Health—providing information and health services to female sex workers and other at-risk women and girls. Basic Needs Donations—mobilizing donations to meet the needs of vulnerable women for food, clothes, and other essentials

Culture demands women provide for their families, but undermines their independence. We empower them to reclaim this independence.

Read More About the Panty Project

Read More About Female Sex Workers

Read More About Sexual and Reproductive Health for young women

Life Skills for Children and Youth

MotoMoto program meets with street-living children and youth three times a week for: Life Skills Sessions—a trained life skills educator empowers children and youth to identify and cope with the challenges in their lives. Poi Training—Poi, a form of performing art, engages vulnerable children and youth in a fun, non-threatening way, raises their self-esteem and confidence, and encourages them to care for themselves better so they can do Poi. Food Provision—street children and youth cannot afford to stop search for food or doing odd jobs long enough to participate in MotoMoto. Our feeding program addresses this and ensures they have at least a few good meals a week.