Community Credit Fund Makes a Difference in Rural Haiti
By Marie Marthe Saint Cyr - Executive Director
Mirlande is a young woman in her early thirties living in the Gonaives area. When I visited AFAGM, she was one of the members who received training on running a small business and she is a beneficiary of the credit project of AFAGM. Mirlande said she would not miss any of her meetings because it is a life source where her hopes are being realized, one step at the time. She had a small revenue producing activity selling used clothing, but she could not invest in a bale of clothing. She only had a few pieces at the time. With her new loan, she has purchased a bale of clothing that has her business advance multifold.
Mirlande is only one of 301 women who are now growing their businesses. AFAGM is in its sixth lending cycle with 92% on-time reimbursement from the first cycle that benefited from a $5,000.00 Gourdes (HTG) loan repaid at a 2% interest. The current cycle has 48 beneficiaries. Their small enterprises are broad and diversified in portfolio. The small businesses range from agricultural products or cooked food to cosmetic and energy products - like gas for cooking or oil for engines. The 48 beneficiaries of this cycle have reported the following types of revenue producing activities:
Type of activity %
Food consumption 62 Clothing 25 Beauty products 8 Energy related 4 Animal feed 1
Lambi Fund has 10 partners in rural Haiti managing small loans to planters and rural women helpting to create revenue to sustain themselves while providing a needed service and other basic necessities through their small businesses. These ten organizations are now managing $4,857,508.00 (HTG) and has assisted 1,538 small businesses in flourishing and enriching the families and communities where they are located.
AFAGM, Association of Women in Action of Gros Morne, is well deserving of its name for these women who are taking charge everyday and redefining their position in the community and in the scale of security and safety. They are active participants in the economy and olay an immense role in reducing poverty among their communities.
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