Making a difference is what Friendship Bridge strives to do each day among more than 22,000 clients and their families. We now have statistics from two years of research that shows what we are doing truly IS making a difference. Friendship Bridge is pleased to announce publication of the 2013 Impact Report. It illustrates the results of our monitoring activities and evaluation, providing critical information to improve our program as well as to provide evidence that we are achieving our mission. We found that our Microcredit Plus program seems to be providing the appropriate support for our clients to find sturdy footing, allowing them to look upward and forward, to dream and to pursue a better future for themselves, their children and their communities. This social empowerment was the key to the most significant advances among clients.
Findings indicate that our loan clients are becoming more stable, accumulating social capital and skills, and they are prioritizing education for their children. The data is presented through the experiences of three typical clients, revealing the different levels of poverty in the communities we serve. The report findings guided development of the 2014-2016 Strategic Plan, our line of sight to directly respond to client needs by developing programs specifically to stabilize our clients, so that they can gain skills and knowledge, increase their self-confidence, grow their social networks and develop their business to enact the change they want for themselves, their children, and their communities. For our most vulnerable clients – artisans and agriculturalists – we are developing value chain solution programs. To increase the stability of clients, we are working to improve the health of client households by financing higher-quality stoves and offering preventative health services for clients and their children.
Although we regularly use data we collect throughout the year for operations, we hope to produce a similar report annually to continually demonstrate our progress toward achieving our mission. We invite you to read the report, and learn more about our clients and how our mission in Guatemala is impacting lives.