In Sickness and in Health: An MFI’s commitment to its clients in times of need
By Andrea Ramirez, KF16 El Salvador.
El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala were hit recently by non-stop rain. Ten days of rain to be precise. Here in El Salvador the areas affected were mostly those close to rivers and the coast. In a country as small as El Salvador, that means pretty much 70 percent of the country was affected. Based on government estimates, El Salvador was the country that was hit the hardest. More than 55,000 people have been left out of their homes due to the floods, and 34 people died. The government still has no estimates of how much the reconstruction efforts will cost.
I am lucky to have been living in a city like San Miguel, where the water flows down the streets rather than getting stuck and into people’s houses. However, many of the communities that Fundacion Campo works with were not so lucky. As soon as the water started to rise in some of the communities that are known for having this type of issue with natural disasters, Fundacion Campo came up with a plan to help.
First, Fundacion Campo’s employees wanted to contribute. So everyone donated what they could in terms of money, clothes, food, and other basic items that the communities told us they needed. Then, the management team decided to dedicate some of the institution’s resources to buy food in bulk, which would be delivered to three of the most hard-hit communities. These communities are usually out of the radar in terms of international aid. Fundacion Campo is considering other ways to help their clients too. They are looking into refinancing the loans of those affected by the floods (mostly fishermen and farmers). Some of their clients , such as fishermen, have been out of work for 16 days now, but will be able to go back to work later this week. Others, those who work the land, are out of work indefinitely as the soil and their crops have been completely flooded and ruined.
After unloading the two trucks full of food, we decided to really see what was the damage done by the rain. We embarked on a couple of canoes, and moved across the water - down what would’ve normally have been one of the main streets.
Andrea Ramirez is a Kiva Fellow serving in El Salvador with Fundacion Campo. Now more than ever, please consider supporting Fundacion Campo’s work by joining our lending team – or even better, make a loan to one of our awesome clients. Help Fundacion Campo help their clients get their life back after the floods.