60 Decibels’ report reveals positive trends toward next-generation impact among Friendship Bridge clients
One of the reasons we support women in Guatemala is because we have a vested interest in creating intergenerational change among impoverished families, as reflected in our Theory of Change. When our clients have the financial resources to keep their children in school, it can change the trajectory of their futures.
“We care deeply about breaking the cycle of generational poverty, and we have so many stories of clients who have experienced intergenerational impact because of Friendship Bridge,” said Caitlin Scott, Chief Strategy Officer at Friendship Bridge. “But we wanted more concrete evidence to show this.”
As a result, Friendship Bridge commissioned the global impact measurement company, 60 Decibels, to measure how our clients are experiencing change. Here’s what their research discovered:
Higher child and parent engagement
94% of clients strongly agree that their children are more engaged in their education than they were at the same age. The vast majority of these clients attribute this change to their involvement with Friendship Bridge, either in whole or in part.
In addition, all clients are more engaged in their children’s education since working with Friendship Bridge. 89% say they have learned skills that allow them to support their children’s education and personal development. Clients report participating in more decision-making about their kids’ schooling and feel more optimistic about their children’s futures.
“Consistently, we see our clients putting their children’s needs ahead of their own, in hopes of setting them on a path to a better future,” Scott said. “It’s exciting to see that they feel like they learned how to better support children in school through their participation in our programs, so that their children have higher educational attainment and greater opportunities than they had.”
Increases in parental skills
60 Decibels’ researchers found that 68% of Friendship Bridge clients strongly agree that they have learned parental skills that allow them to support their children in different ways. This includes feeling more equipped to support their children’s education, having an increased sense of responsibility to guide children’s actions, and being more able to help with their kids’ personal development, such as learning to read.
Elena, a weaver from Solalá and a Friendship Bridge client since 2012, has seen firsthand the changes in her children’s lives because of the skills she has developed. Her first Friendship Bridge loan allowed her to expand her small textile business; later training through the Handmade by Friendship Bridge® program taught her a variety of finance and marketing skills, despite having only a 4th grade education herself.
Through the growth of her business, she’s been able to afford education for her four children and says she has gained a greater sense of empowerment.
Elena is incredibly proud of how her children’s skills have grown alongside her own. “My three daughters, thank God, have graduated from high school with a bilingual secretary diploma, and two are studying at a university,” Elena reported. Two of her daughters have since been hired for jobs as tour guides at a small homemade chocolate factory in their community. Elena is proud to see them putting their bilingual skills (English and Spanish) into practice, even as young women.
“I hope that…we can better support our families and our people can be more prosperous,” Elena said.
See page 24 to learn more about Intergenerational Impact.
60 Decibels 2023 Impact Awards and performance rankings are based on the 60 Decibels 2023 Microfinance Index. Ranking is determined based on companies evaluated in Africa, Asia, Latin America and globally. For more information, visit 60decibels.com. 60 Decibels is a registered trademark of 60 Decibels, Inc.