Las Estrellas Group
Ten women in the Friendship Bridge Trust Bank “Las Estrellas” (The Stars) are committed to not being part of the above statistics. They are participating in the Microcredit Plus Program of the organization that combines small loans and education. They work in various small businesses including a “tortillería”, where fresh tortillas are made three times each day, animal husbandry and agriculture as well as the production of typical handicrafts, crafts and textiles.
Marcela, a single 21-year-old woman, is the youngest in the Trust Bank. She is requesting a loan to invest in the purchase of chickens. She plans to fatten them up and sell them at a good price. The proceeds of her sales will enable her to continue with her education as she recently returned to school to finish her secondary studies. As a small child, she was unable to continue her education as her mother died and she needed to help care for her seven siblings. Marcela is most excited to participate in the monthly educational trainings given by a Loan Officer of Friendship Bridge. Subjects covered include hygiene, health, nutrition and the use of medicinal plants as well as self-esteem and women’s rights. Other topics include successful business management, including information on accounting, budgeting and customer service. Friendship Bridge calls the combination of the small loans and education “Microcredit Plus”.
The women of the “Las Estrellas” Trust Bank send greetings and thanks to KIVA investors for their thoughtfulness and generosity in supplying capital for their loans. Along with their families, they face a more successful and prosperous tomorrow.
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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