Empower women. Eliminate poverty.

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2013 Newsletter

“Fear is what stops people from doing things.  My fear is gone because of trainings with Friendship Bridge,” explains Vicenta Zaput Palaz.  Read more about Vicenta, learn about 2013 initiatives and meet other clients in our latest newsletter!

MicroCredit + Education = MicroCredit Plus, A Winning Combination

MicroCredit + Education = MicroCredit Plus, A Winning Combination

Our Microcredit Plus program combines small loans with non-formal participatory education. Women form groups of 7-25 members called Trust Banks. Each elects its own officers, creates business plans together, co-guarantees individual member’s loans, and participates in education sessions that are included in monthly loan repayment meetings.

Microcredit Plus Facts:

  • Friendship Bridge’s average loan size is $250 and loan terms are 4-12 months.
  • Friendship Bridge clients expand small businesses such as weaving, embroidery, pastry making, raising livestock or poultry, basket weaving, roadside vending, or growing fruits and vegetables for sale at the local markets.
  • Profits from the women’s businesses boost overall household income, as well as self-esteem.
  • As loans are repaid, they are re-loaned.
  • A Friendship Bridge client, on average, has 2.6 years of formal education, is unable to read and write and is unlikely to speak Spanish
  • Friendship Bridge has created non-formal, participatory education lessons such as business, money management, self-esteem, women’s rights, health and children’s education.

The benefits of microcredit include:

  • A greater ability to weather economic shocks, such as illness or natural disaster
  • Decreased malnutrition
  • Decreased spousal abuse
  • Improved hygiene and health care
  • Increased number of children attending school, especially girls
  • Increased support, camaraderie, and self-esteem among borrowers
  • Increased level of family planning (borrowers are 50% more likely to have fewer children)

Our Microcredit Plus programs are available to Guatemalan women thanks to the impact from generous donors like you. Please donate now to help us continue to provide loans, education, training and empowerment to women like Otilia.

_Testimonial 2

“Water spinach dulse potato bok choy bamboo shoot wakame napa cabbage summer purslane nori tomatillo kohlrabi groundnut melon corn endive broccoli rabe asparagus.” — Sandra

_Testimonial 1

“For me, it is really fun to be in a group: to raise oneself up, to be able to have a business, to be able to work,” Tomasa said. “We have so many needs because of all our children.” — Tomasa