Our 6th loan group, who received their loans in late 2013, paid back the original amount of $200 and were awarded a second loan of $225. We still maintain a 100% payback rate and will soon be considering larger loans for the women who start on their third loan cycle in 2015. With the Haitian economy growing at a rate of 4.5%, the women are wanting to expand their small businesses even further and are willing to take on additional risk.
“Half the Sky”, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, was the impetus for starting this microfinance program. Their stories of the power of individuals to expand opportunity for women in the developing world led me to further research microfinance. Their second book, “A Path Appears”, details the benefits of positive change both for the recipient and for the giver. “Interventions that create hope, such as microsavings schemes and entrepreneurship training, can shatter the cycles of learned helplessness and create hope.” That hope is what we are seeing and hearing from our loan recipients. They are WORKING to create a better life for both themselves and for their families. And they are benefitting in many more ways than monetary – they have a renewed sense of pride and accomplishement.
Give to the Max Day is one short month away. This is our major fundraiser for the year and will help to fund new loans in 2015. Please consider making a difference in a Haitian women’s life and creating hope for her family.