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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Microfinance week: Friendship Bridge

So, today's organization is Friendship Bridge, a microloaning organization which offers loans and non-formal education to Guatemalan women. They believe that:

- "Microcredit helps impoverished women reach economic independence.
- Education for women and children is an important tool for development.
- Health education enhances personal, family and community well being.
- Respect for the spiritual and cultural roots of communities is fundamental.
- Participatory techniques incorporate each client’s voice.
- Women are leaders for change in their families and communities.
- Effective programs are created through listening"

I like that they have a well encompassed vision of their work, not only do they want to educate, but they want to make sure the women and their families are healthy. Charities which work with the local communities and listen to their concerns has always been one of the aspects I most admire. Additionally, I think a well run charity can help an area more by valuing the history of the region and respecting the communities beliefs, instead of imposing their missionary/religious beliefs which is all too common with some organizations.

"Friendship Bridge borrowers typically start or expand small businesses such as weaving, embroidery, raising livestock or poultry, basket making, roadside vending, or growing fruits and vegetables for sale at the local markets. Profits from these businesses boost overall household income. As loans are repaid, they are re-loaned. The reinvestment of loan funds multiplies the impact of each dollar loaned."

Overall, another well run organization, whose mission statement, I truly admire and respect. If you agree and want me to donate to them, comment below. We are having a bit of a contest this week, rules found here. The post with the most comments will receive $25 for that organization, you can vote multiple times so if you are torn between different organizations, just vote for both. But you only have until Saturday at noon, so make sure you vote before then...

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