Despite many difficulties in life brought about by poverty, 59 year old Yolanda B. never lost hope that someday an opportunity would come, as long as she believes and has strong faith. It was 1999 when Ahon sa Hirap, Inc., a microfinance institution partner of Kiva in the Philippines visited her house. She immediately joined, because she was so certain that this would be the beginning of her journey towards development. She is also encouraged by the full support of her husband, a construction worker, and their children in this endeavor. As a member of ASHI she did her best to perform well, and she has benefited. The trials and poverty that her family once experienced serves as her inspiration to work hard. Today, with the help of her husband and 5 children, their life is much better than it was before. She was able to send her children to school and to save for the future. She is applying for a loan of 20,000 PHP to finance her growing retail store. She will buy more grocery products, such as: canned goods, sacks of rice, beverages, noodles, soaps and shampoos, and other items to accommodate her increasing number of customers. She wanted to increase her profit so that she could continuously send her children to school and help her husband with their financial needs. She wanted to make money to renovate their house and to buy additional appliances. Her business plan is to build a mini-grocery for her children to manage. She is hoping and praying that ASHI and Kiva friends will support and assist her in her dreams until she reaches them.
Ahon Sa Hirap, Inc. has the distinction of being the oldest existing replication of Grameen methodology for delivering credit to the poor in the Philippines. With more than a third of the nation’s 90 million Filipinos living below the poverty line, ASHI was established with the vision of helping to alleviate poverty in the Philippines. Translated from Tagalog, Ahon Sa Hirap means “to rise above poverty.”
Empowering women dedicated to supporting their families through hard work and dedication, ASHI lends 100% to women and specifically the bottom 50%, so the “poorest of the poor.” In addition to general business loans, ASHI also offers educational loans, house repair loans, savings funds, and social development programs for its members. ASHI is committed to translating its social mission into practice.