Pro-Microfinance International

The vision of Pro-Microfinance International is to be a pioneering microfinance institution in Africa, by providing financial services to the most inaccessible regions of the continent. Using local social networks and in-kind loans, Pro-Microfinance International will be able to provide desperately needed credit and income generation assistance to those underserved by formal credit systems.Pro-Microfinance International's mission is to empower women and men irrespective.
Jun 3, 2014

Community Shamba Project

Students at the school Garden
Students at the school Garden

Pro-microfinance is pleased to present a new project, The Community Shamba Project, developed by several of its board members.

 The Community Shamba Project is an initiative to create a collaborative network of school gardens that use sustainable, integrative agriculture practices, based on the principles of Permaculture. The word “Shamba” means farm” in Swahili.  The initiative will start with a pilot project in the city of Butembo in the Northeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Central Africa.

 Permaculture design empowers people to strengthen the connections between aspects of life such as food, shelter, water, sanitation, community and local economics to reduce work and the need for income generation while increasing overall abundance through mutually supportive and productive systems. 

 This project will be launched with a two-week, hands-on permaculture design training in October 2014. Thirty participants will be selected from local schools, communityorganizations and farm cooperatives. 

The course will be led by Aaron Kalala and Joseph Lentunyoi, certified Permaculture Design Instructors.

Joseph is the lead trainer and consultant for PRI-Kenya, bringing a wealth of teaching experience to the table. Joseph has experience teaching and implementing permaculture in a variety of contexts, from the drylands of Laikipia and Somaliland to the coast of Tanzania and the varied landscapes of California.

 Aaron is from the DRC, and recieved his Permaculture Design  Certificate in 2007 in Tanzania, taught by Geoff Lawton. Since then, he has trained over 56 women on growing food and conservation in the Congo Basin and has participated in numerous other trainings. Aaron also established a Permaculture demonstration garden at an eco-village located in Uvira, DRC. He speaks French, English, Swahili, and Lingala and other local DRC languages.

 The Fall 2014 initiative will be the first of what will become a network of sustainable gardens using Permaculture design principles to create food security, increase self-sufficiency, and honor the environment with integrative agriculture principals.

 DRC is one of the most malnourished countries in the world, and many children rely on the meals they receive at school to sustain them. Having future gardens for food production located within the schools will give children access to healthy food, while at the same time being able to learn and implement the soil-enriching techniques found in Permaculture, so that a greater variety of food can be grown with an increased nutritional value. This can provide families long-term food producing self-sufficiency, and will help in reducing depletion of the surrounding ecosystem.

 Your donation will be instrumental in helping our organization to provide our recipients with agricultural training and tools that lead to building strong families and communities.

With many thanks in advance for your generous support.

In appreciation,

Kym Park,

PMI Board Secretary 

Feb 18, 2014

Our Rent to Own program

A Rent to Own Program beneficiary
A Rent to Own Program beneficiary

Dear Supporters,

We are delighted to inform you that 2014 is off to a great start with Pro-Microfinance. In July 2013, Pro-Microfinance expanded its activities to Kinshasa, a city with a population of about 12 million people. With less than 5% of the population having access to financial services and an over 80 % rate of unemployment.  PMI has launched a “Rent to Own” program, where small entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to rent equipment that they own once they have paid the cost of the equipment. 

With PMI’s “Rent to Own” program, motorbike taxi drivers, for example, deposit payments on their account at PMI, until the whole cost of a motorbike rented is paid off.  The program, in partnership with local businesses, helps  motorbike taxi drivers to become owners and improve their income, rather than driving for someone else who poorly pays them. With an average income of $20 a day, $15 usually goes to a private motorbike owner, and only $5 to the driver. If the driver happens to make less than $20, he will get less than $5 that day, as he cannot compromise the $15 for the owner of the motorbike. 

PMI’s “Rent to Own” program helps entrepreneurs find a pathway to become the owner of the motorbike -and other business assets- at the end of the process.  This program triples and quadruples their income, and helps them to better be able to support their families. We thank you for you support to PMI in previous years and in the years to come. Programs like these are what make our work meaningful, and we promise to keep you updated along the way!  

Nov 8, 2013

Financial Support for demobilized soldiers in DRC

Mr Kasereka Justin a demobilised soldier in DRC
Mr Kasereka Justin a demobilised soldier in DRC

Dear Supporters,

Greetings and we hope this update finds you well. Just to let you know, your financial contributions to Pro-Microfinance DR Congo have had an enormous impact in improving the living standard of families in Butembo, North Kivu. Our recent contributions have made it possible for us to work with a new organizational partner active in grassroots peace building. PMI has extended micro loans to target demobilized soldiers and vulnerable persons in Butemobo and offer lifeline financial support, through its new partner PEREX.

PEREX, a local organization, works to offer community-based reintegration services to demobilized combatants, their families, and extremely vulnerable members of the community. PEREX previously partnered with international NGO’s such as CARITAS in order to extend business opportunities to demobilized combatants and vulnerable members of their host community, such as work-and-pay projects to repair community infrastructure together. Since the completion of the reintegration programming funded by these INGOs, PEREX has been seeking critical support to sustain livelihood services to its members. One of the vital needs of the members of PEREX, many of them with vocational training, has been access to financial services.

PMI therefore recently partnered with PEREX to work with 15 solidarity groups formed by PEREX, each group made of 5 members. Many of the groups have taken and repaid their first group loan, some have taken a second loan, and some have even paid back their second round and are going for their third round. Borrowers have also received trainings in budgeting, record keeping, and entrepreneurship. Here is a big thank you from the PMI team and all its beneficiaries!

PMI’s visiting team members from the USA met with several beneficiaries of the new partnership. Maman Katungu, for instance, used to bring supplies to her husband while he was stationed in a rebel outpost in North Kivu. Since her husband returned to civilian life, Maman has acted as the head of her household, selling fish and saving in an indigenous, neighborhood savings scheme to help her family’s 3 school age children stay in school. Since joining PMI, Maman used her first $100 loan to switch from selling fish to selling tomatoes, which she says has a higher daily profit. She is eagerly looking forward to her second loan, which she says she’d like to use to invest in a communal selling space with the other women in her self-help group.

With its focus always on community needs, PMI’s scalable and sustainable programming works from the bottom up to provide alternatives to hundreds of market women (and men) like Maman. Consider making a contribution today to our efforts in the Congo.

Mr Kasereka, a demobilised soldier shares his story

“My name is Kasreka, I am a demobilized soldier. During the demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration program, I was trained by CARITAS as a mechanic man and received a starter kit. I started a small motorbike repair shop here at the roadside. Later on, I joined PEREX for follow up training as Caritas did not have follow-up programs. From PEREX, I learned how to manage small business and was able to get a Loan from PMI with my other 4 self-help group members. Today, I train 7 school boys in motorbike mechanics during their school vacations. I also have a small chair-making business and farm pigs at home. “

Yours truly,

Julia Smith and John Kavyavu

Mr Justin and his team
Mr Justin and his team
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