We were fortunate to receive our non-profit status only 2 days before Give to the Max Day in Minnesota. Due to the generosity of our donars and a $4000 match, we raised almost $11,000. 20 new loans were awarded in Limbe and 10 loans in Ranquitte. This brings our total to 87 loans in Limbe and 24 loans in Ranquitte. The first 4 groups in Limbe have paid back their original loans (in addition to interest) and have been granted a second loan amount for $225.
I had a chance to visit with some of the previous loan recipients while I was in Haiti in November. They were most excited by the fact that our program had continued to expand and was still operating. Apparently, other organizations have proposed similiar microfinancing ideas but failed to follow thru with funds or ran out of funding soon after granting the first loans. They were also appreciative that Helping Haiti Work does not dictate what types of businesses they operate. Often what they resell in the market changes depending on what the needs of the community dictate. Their last request of me – “We would like more loans for our friends and to be able to qualify for bigger loans for ourselves when we have proven that we are a good risk”. Our job at Helping Haiti Work is to be able to grant those requests thru more fundraising.