The Women´s Bank Of Little Ants Group
The Cariari region is located in the province of Limon. In this rural area, life has been difficult due to a lack of job opportunities, family responsibilities, low levels of formal education and a lack of available financial services. Their challenging situation has resulted in a communal initiative to create work for themselves by engaging wholeheartedly in the purchase, rearing and sale of pigs.
In order to fund the development of their businesses each woman is applying for a loan of 100,000 colons (roughly US$180). Their loans will be used to purchase piglets and nutritional food that will ensure their growth into quality livestock products. The pigs will be sold to people in the community for direct consumption or resale. From November to December is the high season for the group, the reason can be summed up in one word: Tamales. Tamales are a traditional Costa Rican food eaten at Christmas time and their main ingredient is pork. As customer needs for pork meat increase, so too do the revenues of the “Little Ants”.
For many of the group members, the responsibility of raising a family has fallen solely on their shoulders, rendering the income generated from pig sales a vital source of income. Despite their entrepreneurial spirit, their efforts have been hamstrung, partly due to exclusion from the traditional banking system. This is where you, through Kiva’s lending model, can help.
Your contribution is a direct investment in the betterment of the lives of women living in a poor community of Caribbean Costa Rica. By lending to these proactive and hardworking entrepreneurs, you are enabling them to help themselves.
The Group Members
These women identify most with the struggle of “little ants”. The members observe that “ants work together and support one another day and night, in order to build something that is bigger than themselves.” This can be taken to symbolize the group’s aspirations for growth and approval for more loans in the future. The following detailed description of Flor M. A. A. can be considered as generally applicable to all the women in the group: they are all participants in similar economic activities in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica.
Flor M. A. A. is the elected treasurer of this group. She is 38 years old and has not completed high school. She lives with her husband and two sons. Her husband is a farmer who grows plantains, rice and beans for family consumption and sells what he has left over.
On average, Flor earns 37,500 colons (roughly US$67) per month. At the moment, she has one pig; she would use this loan to purchase another. She would like to earn enough money from her pig-selling business so that she may buy a cow.
Flor takes pride in managing her business with one hand while raising her children with the other. An obstacle for her, and for all the group members, is the high cost of nutrients for the pigs. Transportation is another challenge: walking to town to get the nutrients and hauling them back is a laborious task. When it rains heavily, the rise in the nearby river makes transport by bus impossible.
The members of The Women´s Bank of Little Ants have lived in the rural zone of Cariari for their entire lives. They are experienced in the trade of livestock and other agricultural activities; for example, Flor has been rearing pigs for the last fifteen years of her life. Your loan will help these women take the first steps in a loan cycle that leads to the end of poverty.
More information about this loan
In Costa Rica, funding for microfinance institutions is hard to come by, and many institutions find themselves having difficulty growing and reaching all the demand for loans that exist. Kiva works with Fundacion Mujer because it attends a very marginalized population in Costa Rica, with a specific focus on women. In addition to the loan, Fundacion Mujer provides specialized training programs for their borrowers on everything from computer classes to salon training. Because of the difficulty in obtaining capital in Costa Rica, Fundacion Mujer cannot serve all the women that need loans. Therefore Kiva plays a unique role in helping Fundacion Mujer grow its portfolio and reach borrowers it otherwise would not be able to.
About Fundacion Mujer:Fundación Mujer is an organization specializing in the financial and personal development of female entrepreneurs in Costa Rica. They seek to reach underserved populations that may include indigenous communities, immigrants, refugees, victims of domestic violence or women living with HIV/AIDS. Fundación Mujer offers courses in both business and personal development, as well as training in concrete skills such as sewing and other crafts.
This is a Group Loan
In a group loan, each member of the group receives an individual loan but is part of a larger group of individuals. The group is there to provide support to the members and to provide a system of peer pressure, but groups may or may not be formally bound by a group guarantee. In cases where there is a group guarantee, members of the group are responsible for paying back the loans of their fellow group members in the case of delinquency or default.
Kiva's Field Partners typically feature one borrower from a group. The loan description, sector, and other attributes for a group loan profile are determined by the featured borrower's loan. The other members of the group are not required to use their loans for the same purpose.
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Success!! The loan was 100% repaid