GRACE Cares's Community Finance Guatemala empowers indigenous women to take control of their household financial situations by providing them with financial literacy education and by training them to create and manage their own community banks. During this time, we are focusing on increasing the resilience of the communities we support by providing critical health education, and easy start-up home garden kits. Now more than ever we need to help protect the most vulnerable across the globe.
Thousands of indigenous Maya families throughout Guatemala live with constant financial uncertainty and instability. Inconsistent cash-flow and low wages make it difficult to plan their finances and set goals. Women entrepreneurs may look to take out a loan to invest in their small businesses, such as selling textiles, but are often denied at the banks and forced to borrow from local money lenders, which charge exorbitant interest rates and use violent tactics to ensure repayment.
The project empowers local women leaders to provide their fellow women community members with financial education workshops designed to meet participants where they are at regarding literacy level, education level and financial situation. Women receive training to learn how to create and manage their own community banks, comprised of friends and family members. They are based on a solid foundation of trust, and provide easy access to financial services such as savings and lending.
The project will continue to support 200 current women members and provide 100 more women with the necessary knowledge and skills to to plan their financial lives, setting achievable goals for the future. They will make significant progress towards reaching these goals by saving their money in their community banks and having access to loans that they can invest in their income generating activities. Through experience they will learn that they have the power to change their lives, together.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).