Brenda Nohemí P., 24, runs a typing school, using old-fashioned typewriters. Hers is one of three typing schools in the town, but all the children need to learn how to type before they enter junior high school, so the school has thrived. Brenda and her husband started the school in 2004 after months of bureaucratic paperwork, and launched it with lots of advertising, and the business thrived from the start.
Brenda charges about US$4.00/month for students to study at the school, and they can finish with certificates of varying ability. Right now she has 150 students studying.
Like many women in her town, Brenda also has other irons in the fire. On weekends she sells new clothes in the town's Sunday market. Her husband Saulo works as a health worker for a government health service. Both of them are still pursuing advanced education. Brenda is getting a secretarial degree and hopes to go on to university and Saulo is studying Business Administration. They want the best for their two children. And their 5-year-old says he wants to be a doctor, so they're ready to educate him for a long time. Written by Randy Fay, Kiva Fellow
About Friendship Bridge
This 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).