Non-formal education is a critical component of Friendship Bridge’s Microcredit Plus program. While microcredit provides our clients with a hand up for their businesses, education provides them with an asset for life — skills and knowledge to create sustainable change for themselves, their children, and their communities.
Friendship Bridge has created participatory education lessons on topics clients identified as most important – business, women’s rights, health, and family. Friendship Bridge’s Facilitators (loan officers) deliver the non-formal education lessons at each Trust Bank’s monthly loan repayment meetings.
Our educational curriculum is unique and responsive to our client’s needs, taking into consideration that the average Friendship Bridge client has only 3.4 years of formal education, and does not read, write, or speak Spanish, Guatemala’s official language. Lessons are interactive and are delivered through flipcharts that have illustrations and pictures to accompany any text so our pre-literate clients can follow along. Additionally, our Facilitators must speak Spanish and the local Mayan language of the Trust Banks they serve to ensure that all clients can understand the lessons.