Women's Microfinance Initiative

Started by women in the Washington, D.C. area, WMI makes loans to impoverished women in developing nations who have no access to banks. Issuing affordable, collateral-free loans for as little as $50, WMI promotes women's economic empowerment to reduce global poverty. WMI's goal is to help poor women build assets to stabilize their income, improve their familiy's living standard, become advocates for their families/communities, and transition into independent banking and the formal economy.
Apr 25, 2011

New WMI Video!

Using footage from both Uganda and Kenya, WMI's new video - Building The Road Out of Poverty - shows the WMI loan program in action. Please take a couple minutes to check out the video on YouTube, which can be accessed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kA7bEgnYro

Links:

Mar 4, 2011

Construction Begun!

Construction of the walls for the new classrooms has begun! The classrooms should be completed by June 2011 when another group of high school interns from the USA will be visiting Buyobo. The interns are going to contribute to the classroom project by adding final touches like painting murals on the walls and helping move the library into one of the new classrooms, where it will be more accessible to the primary school students. They will also be teaching computer skills to students as well as assisting the teachers at Buyobo Primary in the classroom.

 

After hearing about the experiences of last year’s students, the new group is getting excited about going to Buyobo. One of last year’s interns made a short video about his experience, which he posted on Youtube:http://www.youtube.com/user/WMIonline#p/u/1/H6p8MP5c6bM

 

Buyobo community members are very excited about the prospect of the new classrooms, and members in the loan program have also contributed some of the money for walls.

Links:

Feb 7, 2011

Update from Uganda!

WMI just completed its 2011 trip to East Africa to review the progress of loan program operations.  The results were just terrific - the village level loan programs are running smoothly under the guidance of WMI's Local Director, Olive Wolimbwa, and her team at the Bulambuli Widow's Association (BWA).  Women's businesses are growing steadily larger and the local economy has expanded noticeably in the villages where WMI operates.  A full report on the visit will be posted shortly.
 
Buyobo - January 2011 - Colleen Rossier
Colleen Rossier in Buyobo, January, 2011

Colleen Rossier, a 2010 graduate from UVA with a degree in environmental science travelled to Uganda in January 2011 for a 3 week internship with the WMI loan programme. She joined Montana Stevenson and Ainsley Morris who have been in Uganda since the end of September working with the ladies on their transition to independent banking and preparing a banking manual. Colleen currently works for the US Department of Agriculture and was especially interested in local farming techniques, animal husbandry, and environmental stewardship. Click here to see a slideshow of her visit including many shots of the WMI loan program in action and village life.

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