From 2010-2011 donations contributed by our supporters and matched by G Adventures, contributed $3000 to provide short-term loans to 63 women, providing them with the capital needed to start their own micro-enterprise ventures. These are small businesses that generally involve selling clothes, toiletries and food, or offering services such as washing clothes and working as seamstresses. The women are also provided with educational workshops to develop basic business skills.
This project was created in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch, one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit Central America. Causing over 7,000 deaths, destroying 80% of agriculture, and leaving nearly 20% of the population homeless, Hurricane Mitch decimated what little capital and material resources rural towns had. In rural areas where we offer support, sixty one percent of families live in extreme poverty surviving on less than $1 a day.
Microfinance is a long-term sustainable approach to poverty alleviation as opposed to a one-time gift. By entrusting local women with manageable short-term loans, we are giving them the opportunity to help themselves and to break the cycle of poverty. Most banks do not view the poor as viable clients as there are misconceptions that the poor will not repay their loans or that they will not have the discipline to invest their loan in a business. We work in partnership with the Adelante Foundation, an organization that manages these micro-credit loans and provides business skills training to women in Honduras. Over the years, experience has proved that the women who have participated in this program have maintained a 99.6% loan repayment rate.