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Ohio University’s Enactus Chapter wins Walmart grant

Monday, November 30 2015 12:00am

The Enactus group at Ohio University has secured a grant to help single mothers in Athens County living in poverty.

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Ohio University’s Enactus chapter has been granted a $1,500 grant as part of the Walmart Women’s Economic Empowerment project. The funds will go towards helping single mothers in the Athens, Ohio area. Enactus received the grant for their plan to provide workforce development training to this population that is severely affected by poverty. Some 62 percent of single mothers in Athens County are living below the poverty line.

“It all happened quickly,” said Noha Al-Khalqi, president of Ohio University’s Enactus chapter. “We were brainstorming for a new project and some of us wanted to do something for women. A couple days later, we sent in our grant application.” The funds will be used to create a co-housing community to support impoverished single mothers.

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Working with non-governmental organizations in the Athens area, including My Sister’s Place, Timothy House, and Integrated Services, the local Enactus chapter plans to provide single-mother families a place where they can receive vital resources including food, transportation, and child care. “Many of these mothers can’t afford childcare, and they also can’t leave their children to go to work,” said Al-Khalqi. “We want to help them improve job skills and provide a space to give them an opportunity to collaborate and support each other in a safe environment. The ultimate goal is to help the mothers
become self-sufficient.”

Enactus is an international nonprofit organization devoted to having students improve the world through entrepreneurial action. Campus chapters create development projects that help improve their local communities. The goal is to help the community while developing more effective leaders who are driven by positively contributing to their community.

The Ohio University Enactus chapter began in 2013 under the direction of Dr. Luke Pittaway, executive director of Center for Entrepreneurship. “We’ve been really grateful for the support of Enactus, the Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs,” said Al-Khalqi. “Their support helps our small group accomplish a lot.” There are currently 10 students in the group, but are always looking for new members. “Part of what makes our group so exciting is that it brings together students from all different backgrounds. It is not just business students involved. It is students from other disciplines and from the graduate level as well.”