Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘loan’

Don’t Look the Other Way

Stop for a moment and answer this question: What can you buy for $2.50? These days, not much. A bottle of water. A candy bar, perhaps. Maybe a bag of chips.

Now think about this: Right now, half of the world’s population—more than three billion people–is living on $2.50 a day or less. With no money left over to dig their way out of poverty.

You can look away as they struggle – or you can take action.

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A small loan can be all an enterprising individual needs to begin down the path to success. Just $25 can provide a microentrepreneur with goods to sell at the local market. $50 or $100 can allow an individual to buy a sewing machine, or a refrigerator to keep food for resale from spoiling overnight. They’ll be the ones doing all of the hard work – all they need is a little help from you to get them started.

We reach more than one million clients in 22 countries – most of them women. Women in particular are using their businesses to provide for their families and to earn independence within their communities. While some 13 million worldwide have already benefited from microcredit, the need is still estimated to be 200 million people.

Around the world, our clients – and potential clients – are ready to work hard to get ahead. All they need is for you not to look the other way. You may take action and make a donation today.

Sincerely,

Soledad Gompf
Vice President
FINCA

When Humor Is Not Humorous

When Humor About Gender is Not Humorous

In the United States, we may think we’re aware of gender imbalances – that men and women are often perceived and treated differently in the media, workplace, and home. We have serious discussions about it; we talk to our children about it; sometimes we even make jokes about it.

For many women around the world, it’s not so funny.

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Today, around the world, women have limited access to education, land, and credit – an equation that often adds up to poverty. Across the globe, we’re witnessing an increase in woman heads-of-households and single mothers trying to support their children. With at least six million children dying each year from malnutrition, how do we help women, and subsequently their children, break out of the cycle of poverty?

By helping women help themselves.

Some 83 percent of our 284,000 FINCA clients across seven countries of Latin America are women. Members of Village Banks, many of whom are mothers, elect their own leaders, manage their own funds, and supervise their own loans – often in places where women wouldn’t otherwise be allowed to do any of these things. When you supply a woman entrepreneur with a FINCA microfinance loan, you’re setting her on the path to success.

When women are given the means to start or grow their own business, they don’t just earn a living. They feed their families. They empower themselves and experience independence. And it doesn’t take much.

A mere $25 can buy egg-laying chickens; $50 can pay for a bicycle to transport goods. $500 can enable a woman to open her own beauty salon. She’ll do the hard work – give her the tools to change her life.

Thank you for helping women help themselves!

Sincerely,

Soledad Gompf
Vice President
FINCA

15 Years of Hard Work

Dear Gabriel,

In rural central Uganda, a lone woman makes her way though an expanse of prickly green leaves, below a hazy blue sky. Guided by instinct and experience, she spots what she is looking for – a perfectly ripe pineapple.

To you and me, a pineapple is something purchased in stores or from fruit stands, to be diced into a sweet snack or blended into a beverage to enjoy with friends.

For Madina Namanda, this pineapple represents 15 years of hard work; nearly 50 FINCA loan cycles; and a drive to do better for herself and her four children.

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Beginning with a US $40 loan, Madina has worked her way up the agricultural ladder. She currently runs a 12-acre pineapple plantation, a 3-acre coffee plantation, and a poultry farm, and she is installing a clean water distribution site on her property, for her neighbors to use. With so much work, Madina shrugs off the loss of some of her pineapples to marauding monkeys, who bite off big chunks of golden sweetness from some of the fruit on the edges of her farm.

Working with FINCA clients has given me the opportunity to see how clients like Madina can take a small loan, and turn it into a new life for themselves and a boon for their communities. With access to credit, Madina has been able to boost her family’s income and personal savings – they now own their own land and home, and have sent two children to university. At 45 years of age, Madina can even consider retirement, a rarity in cash-strapped Uganda.

The perseverance, business acumen, and entrepreneurial spirit of women like Madina are among the chief reasons why I come to work every morning. FINCA clients are individuals who merit our support, and who are not afraid of hard work to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

Help us support entrepreneurial women and men like Madina; donate to FINCA today.

Sincerely,

Soledad Gompf
Vice President FINCA

Good Small Things

Dear Gabriel,

They say the best things come in small packages. At FINCA, we think so, too. That’s why we believe in the power of our small loans. Time and time again, we’ve seen poor women transform a loan into a life-changing opportunity. It doesn’t take a lot to make a difference in someone’s life – just a small act of faith.

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Did you know that, within a year, one single donation to FINCA can fund as many as three loans to hardworking women? Did you know that $50 is enough capital for a hardworking mother to buy more materials for her small business so she can send provide for her children? Small loans like these have unlimited potential to support FINCA clients all over the world. Small loans for big change – that’s our mission, and it wouldn’t be possible without your support.

Bit by bit, we can help break the cycle of poverty that grips many of the world’s working poor. FINCA’s clients are doing their part by using their loans to build self-sustaining businesses that transform their families and their communities. Their repayment rates are remarkable – as soon as one FINCA woman repays her loan, another deserving entrepreneur is given a chance. Every small loan counts. The more loans we can give, the faster the progress, the bigger the success story. No matter how small or large your donation is, it will leave a mark much bigger than you can ever anticipate.

Help us write the world’s success story today, and support small FINCA loans for big change. Support hard work, the human spirit, and resilience. Donate today, and join the global fight against poverty.

Thank you for your generosity,

Soledad Gompf
Vice President,
New Business Development

A Different Kind of Bread

Dear Gabriel,

I have a dear friend, named Cass, who is going on a three-week program in Aix- en- Provence, France this year to “become a pastry chef.” She is excitedly making all her final preparations. She can envision herself speaking rudimentary French, whipping up tasty croissants and learning from real experts. She sees a renewed Cass, one she’s dreamed of becoming for a long time, and I’m excited for her too.

On the other side of the world, Alma Lizeth Zarceño will be baking up a different kind of bread in El Salvador.

She too is a baker, but the self she envisions is a little different. Alma sees herself as a mother who can send her two children to school. Each batch of bread she bakes to sell in the community means another day of school fees she can pay; sending her two young ones off to school, dressed in their uniforms, learning, reading, and hoping for a better life.

Alma joined FINCA’s Grupo Comunal San Lorenzo Village Bank recently, though she had never dared borrow money before. Ever since, Alma has been using her FINCA loans to buy new molds and other equipment and ingredients. Her bakery has begun to attract more and more customers and she hopes to continue improving her business so she can steadily boost her earnings. Every day, as her children grow, they need more and more and the cost of managing the family’s needs keeps increasing, but Alma is confident that she can set them on their way to a brighter future.

Alma is very grateful that you had confidence in her abilities and that her companions in Grupo Comunal San Lorenzo have shown her so much trust and encouragement.

Whatever your own personal pursuit, your own vision of a future self, you can take inspiration from the courage, success and tenacity of Alma.

Please give $100 or more to the hopeful visions of a better life for women and families in the developing world. We’ll bet you a fresh, warm croissant that you will feel great about your decision.

Thank you for your support,

Soledad Gompf, FINCA
Vice President
New Business Development

Weaving a Better Life

Weaving a Better Life for Her Family
from FINCA

The business of weaving is a family affair for Catarina Castro Cac de Lux and her husband. The 30-year-old and her husband have earned their living over the past seven years by weaving beautiful scarves, blankets and fabric for skirts, which they sell in their village of Aldea Pachaj, Patzite, Quiché Guatemala.

While the business has provided the family with a meager income over the years, there was never enough to ensure that their five children—ages 15, 12, 10, 8 and two-and-a-half—had more than small amounts of food with which to nourish their growing bodies. Sending the children to school was also a luxury the family couldn’t afford.

Catarina and her husband knew that if they could purchase another loom, they could increase their production, so Catarina joined the Pachaj Flowers Village Bank group and took out a loan, which she used to purchase a second loom. She was also able to use a portion of her loan to buy thread in bulk, which was not only a wise choice with regard to increasing production, but also a necessity, considering where the Cac de Lux family lives. Once the rainy season sets in, it’s very difficult for the villagers to travel to larger markets to access materials, so Catarina made sure she had adequate supplies on hand to continue production during this particularly challenging time of year.

Catarina is proud to report that, as a result of taking out her Village Bank loan, she and her husband have increased their production two-fold, making it possible for them to continue to work to expand their weaving business. She also says that the increase in income has allowed her to buy a greater variety of foods for her growing family and, best of all, her children are now able to go to the local village school.
Catarina and her husband are very grateful to FINCA for helping them to create a better life for themselves and their children.

You can support Catarina and people like her here >>

Victoria’s Business in Zambia

From FINCA
by Paul Hamlin
27 April, 2012

Victoria Banda, Zambia

Yesterday in Zambia I visited a branch to talk to our lending staff, when Priscilla, our Lend a Hand representative, saw a client she knew and introduced me. Hearing her story made it easier for me to stay up a little longer last night to finish my work.

Victoria Banda (36, on the right of the photo standing next to her mother) did not finish primary or secondary school. She is now the main income earner for her household and lives with her parents, and two sisters. In 2001 she borrowed $20 to expand food sales through her storefront. Over the years she has managed to continually grow and improve her business, now operated out of a store in front of her home, expand the family house and even acquire a rental property. In the meantime, her younger sister was able to complete college with Victoria’s financial support.

Asked if FINCA helped her, she replied enthusiastically “Yes.” She then spoke about how slowly she was able to build up her business and that her role in her family has grown along with her business. As a single person without children her business transformed her into what she described as the ‘pillar’ of her family, supporting her mother and close relatives when they are in need.

I then asked if she could have envisioned this over ten years ago when she started with FINCA and she said “Definitely not. I’m a landlord now! Can you imagine?” Her energy and determination combined with our loans allowed her to improve her home, help her younger sister through college and acquire other property that provides her rental income.”

Read more stories at FINCA

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