Although we have not updated for a few months, there have been two noteworthy events that have occured in the microloan program. Loans were awarded to 7 women in Ranquite, a very rural village 3 hours distant from CapHaitian. A local priest is collecting the money each month as there is no nearby bank for the women to deposit their payments. This is the first time that any of the villagers have heard of the microfinance concept and so the initial teaching session had to be much more detailed. Check back this fall when we will hear more about the small business opportunites that these women have started.
Group 2 in Limbe (7 women) paid 100% of their initial loan back in 10 months and were awarded a second loan of $225 each. Thus far, we continue to have 100% payback on our loans.
To this point, we have allowed the women to find their own small business ventures and have not been involved with the planning or implementing of the business. We hope to change this slightly starting in the late fall when we teach some of the women how to use solar powered cell phone chargers that they can use to cell charges to their neighbors and friends. More info will be posted on this opportunity in the next few weeks.
Thank you to all the 219 people who ventured forth on a cold, windy May evening to see the Girl Rising movie. If you were inspired by the movie, please visit the girlrising website for more info and spread the word to others.
Many of the women I have met in Haiti are similiar to the girls in the movie – motivated to make a difference in their lives, but needing someone to help them along the way. They are willing to work hard to improve the lives of themselves and their children, even though barely literate themselves. Microfinance loans allow them the ability to do just that, while also giving them empowerment and prestige in their local community. We would like to start a new group of 10 women this summer, so please consider donating to make a difference in the life of a Haitian woman.
15 new loans of $200 each were awarded to women in Limbe, Haiti last week. Since the program has become so popular, we increased the number of women in the most recent group, as the previous groups were usually 7-10 women. Our bank account is now less than $200 and we need to get busy again with fund-raising. A priest from a more rural and impoverished area of Haiti, about 4-5 hours distance, has contacted us and would like to start a small program in his village. He is willing to transport the women 4 hours over very bad roads so that they can get the training needed before receiving their loan. We hope to have enough funds to start this new location later this summer.
Helping Haiti Work promotional video
A promotional video has been posted at the following link on youtube. The audio portion of the video was taped during our last trip in March. A group of women were practicing for an upcoming church service and beckoned us in to listen. The acoustics were amazing as they were sitting in a small alcove between buildings with the sound revibrating off the cement walls and ceilings.
Helping Haiti Work is partnering with the 10×10 foundation to sponsor a screening of “Girl Rising” at AMC Arbor Lakes Maple Grove Theatre on Thursday, May 9 at 7:30pm. Girl Rising is not only a film but also a global movement. It puts the spotlight on the power of education to change a girl and to transform the world. Girl Rising is more than people we may never see or places we may never visit. It’s about supporting girls to have the opportunities they deserve. It’s about localizing the issue of getting girls into school.
We have already sold more than half of the tickets out of the 100 that are needed to confirm the movie. Please consider purchasing a ticket below. Your credit card will only be charged if the movie sells 100 tickets. One of the students in the film is from Haiti. Meryl Streep and Selma Hayak are 2 of the narrators. http://gathr.us/screening/2520