We want to quickly update you on the latest development regarding our project "Micro-credit for families in Cochabamba", which you have been supporting in the past.
In Bolivia, January is summer time and the schools are closed for summer vacations. However, this is also the time when rainfalls are most frequent, and the combination of high temperature and rainfalls in the past years have led to floods and landslides, damaging the already weak infrastructure and causing fatalities.
Improving infrastructure is also the main objective of our project. The SODIS Foundation teamed up with a local micro-finance institute and provides favourable conditions for families to obtain credits for improving their housing conditions. The funds can be used for specific purposes, but most families decide to use it for purchasing materials. With the technical advice and support of the SODIS Foundation, they then improve existing facilities or add new ones.
In our last report, we documented how Doña Soledad paid for the construction of a waterless toilet and how this improved her life. For many families, obtaining a bank credit is literally impossible – not only are the interest rates high (18-20% annual rates are common), but the banks ask for securities such as land titles or work contracts which poor families do not have. Therefore, our project met a lot of interest, because our micro-finance partner is more flexible on these terms. For example Delia Alarcón, who took out a loan in 2011 for improving her house. With the low interest rates and the technical advice provided by the project, she was able to fulfill her dream. By March 2012, she will have re-paid the full amount and be eligible for a new one – and so on.
We hope this report is useful to you. Please let us know if you have comments or suggestions – our team is always looking for ways to improve our impact and communications.
Best regards from the whole project team,
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