This is a short update on our project to facilitate micro-credits to low-income families in Cochabamba (Bolivia). Throughout 2012, the project reached the following milestones:
This means that 29 families – more than 200 people - have significantly improved their lives. The families who access credit really do improve their living conditions and are very satisfied with the services provided by the project. Throughout the year, we realized that it makes sense to combine improvements in sanitation conditions with general improvement of the houses, which provides additional benefits. As an example, the picture above shows Martha Zurita, one of the clients of our project, in the middle of the construction work for her new toilet/bathroom. Thanks to the micro-credit provided by the project, she now has access to decent sanitary facilities, which improved health and wellbeing of her whole family of six.
In spite of these success stories, the numbers also show that we are going at a slow rate – in a city of some estimated 600,000 inhabitants, thousands of families are still without basic sanitary services. Therefore, the challenge at hand is formidable: Based on our experience, out of 100 families who participate in our information sessions, 6 show up at one of the offices of our micro-credit partner institution and 3 comply with all the conditions to access credit. This means that the costs of promotion are high, and we need to find better ways to cover these costs.
It also is important to point out that so far, credit failure rate is below 1%, which even on a micro-credit standard is a very good value and shows that the model of the project is working. Thus, we are looking forward to new progress and additional families accessing credit for improving their housing and sanitation conditions in 2013.
Please feel free to provide us feedback on the project and our reporting. Our mission is to continuously improve the water and sanitation conditions of people most in need, and you can help us doing this by letting us know what you think about this project and the report.
Best regards from the whole project team,
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