What were 2 community banks last time we sent out an update, with your support has now grown to 10 community banks in the Mexican state of Hidalgo. This means that almost 150 families are benefitting. At the start of this month the groups closed their first savings cycle, saving for a range of development projects (e.g. implementation of a community-wide water purification system, construction of a rural pharmacy, starting a bakery and a sheep farm) which they will launch once they have accumulated sufficient capital. Over this savings cycle the groups made steady progress through weekly meetings during which they discussed projects and managed savings. Your donations are supporting these efforts by sending field-workers to help manage logistics and overcome project challenges.
Additionally, the results are in for the survey we had just undertaken, and we want to share it with you to give you a picture of the people you are supporting. Of all bank members surveyed, 8% were under the age of 18, 89% were between the ages of 18 – 65, and 2.5% were older than 65. The relative high percentage of minors means that these young members are become more responsible with their money by learning the importance of saving at an early age. The majority of the participants only finished secondary school, and these families earn around $340 dollars a month (which include all types of economic activities, aid, and remittances from abroad). From that, they manage to save about $23 dollars a month. When asked what they would do in the case of an emergency, only 11.7% said they had enough funds saved up that they would be able to utilize, the rest said they would ask a family member, neighbor, friend or bank for a loan, or would sell their possessions.
Next month we will provide a second training for community promoters, this time in communities in the northern part of Hidalgo state. 150 promoters have already signed up. Help us fund this training by making a donation.
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