At Friendship Bridge, we are a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers impoverished Guatemalan women to create a better future for themselves, their children and their communities through microfinance and education. Friendship Bridge works primarily with indigenous populations in rural areas where the rate of poverty in Guatemala is the highest. While illiteracy and poverty rates are staggering in these regions, the women we work with are determined to create a change.
Our Microcredit Plus program combines small loans (our average loan size for new clients is $318) with participatory Non-Formal Education, because our experience has shown us that it takes more than a loan to eliminate poverty. With loan capital in hand and through knowledge gained in applicable monthly Non-Formal Education sessions, women start, expand, or diversify their businesses. Nearly 30,000 women participate in Friendship Bridge’s Microcredit Plus program each year. These women are becoming more empowered to find solutions to poverty and create better futures for themselves, their children, and their communities. Through our Microcredit Plus program:
- 95% of clients feel their income has increased or stabilized
- The majority of clients have started or increased savings
- Clients are investing in improved nutrition for their families
- Women are able to rely on their own business income rather than their husbands’ income
- Clients decrease their vulnerability to poverty
- Women are more likely to take on leadership roles in their families, Trust Banks, and communities
- Women have the resources to enroll (or keep) their children in school
Friendship Bridge is a 501(c)(3) organization with a tax ID number 84-1141078.