San Bartolo Chacaya 1 Group
When one of Cruz's brothers suggested forming a micro-finance group, she became the president of the group. Her business selling fruit helps her to meet new people so forming the group was not difficult at all. The group consists of people whose lands are next to each other: so-called vecinas (neighbours). And together with having some success after their first loan, they have gotten to know each other much better, says Paula. Her business in carrots and potatoes is better after her first loan.
They have their meetings at the office in Sololá. During the meeting they hand in their loan repayment and receive a non-formal education session. They have a lot of fun and there is a lot of laughing going on!
Where most of the women are working in buying and selling food, some of them sew traditional skirts and blouses. Isabel has her store right behind her house and she invested her first loan in big bags of frijoles (beans). When she sold these, she bought more, different kind of beans. Her customers like the diversity of her shop and buy more.
When we talk about what their desires are, the women get very excited and start talking a lot in Kachiquel. After the loan officer's translation, I realise there is something they all work very hard for. The new gained self-esteem and better financial position allows them for the first time to dream. They want their children to do much better than they themselves were ever able to do.
About Friendship BridgeThis loan is administered by Friendship Bridge (FB), a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that empowers thousands of impoverished Guatemalan women through its Microcredit Plus program. The program combines small loans averaging US$350 for four-to-twelve month loan terms with non-formal, participatory education.
As FB clients, women start, expand, or diversify their businesses and learn practical lessons on topics including business, health, and self-esteem. FB’s clients borrow as a group, forming Trust Banks (groups of 7-25 women who serve as co-guarantors of the loan and act as a self-regulating support network).
This is a Group Loan
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Success!! The loan was 100% repaid