Santa Cecilia Group
Cecilia is a 34-year-old member of the Trust Bank who attended elementary school for two years. Cecilia is requesting a loan from Friendship Bridge for the first time as she needs working capital. She will invest the funds in the purchase of yarns, dyes and other materials that she will use to create typical skirts called “cortes”. A corte is the traditional Mayan women's tube skirt that can be anywhere from three to six yards in length, usually woven on a treadle loom. Along with an ornate blouse called a “huipil”, the “corte” along with a belt called a “faja” are universal elements of each women’s traditional outfit or “traje”. Each village in Guatemala has its own specific style, color, and design of “traje”. Cecelia works with her husband and they generate enough income creating “cortes” to support their family. It is especially important to them that their children are enrolled in elementary school.
The ladies of the “Santa Cecilia” Trust Bank share a common goal which is to increase their income by expanding their businesses and improve their quality of life. Besides having access to loans, they receive educational trainings during their monthly meetings with a Friendship Bridge Loan Officer. It is the combination of the loans and educational trainings that comprises the Friendship Bridge Microcredit Plus Program. During their meeting this past month, the training was about leadership and women’s identity. The women learned how to identify the characteristics of a good leader and how each of them can develop their own leadership skills.
Examples of other topics include health, medicinal plants and nutrition, effective business management, budgeting and indebtedness as well as self-esteem.
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
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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