“The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers, you’re God’s field, God’s building.”
1 Corinthians 3: 8-9
Villagers have many skills on which to develop home and community-based businesses. In addition to the farm pilot and poultry initiatives, which all have raised the standard of living for individuals participating in the projects, a Women’s Economic Development and Micro Loan Fund was established in 2015, with a generous donation from Paul and Lynn Hunt.
Phase I of the program was launched in 2015, and twenty women in the village completed a three-day business training course and received a loan (at 5% interest) to help establish their businesses. The women received ongoing technical assistance and support. Progress reports were completed every six months to monitor progress with individual businesses and loan repayment. At the end of Phase I, 100% of the women had repaid their loans.
In January 2016/2017, Phase II of the program was launched, and an additional ten women were added to the program. Again, 100% of the women repaid their loans at the end of the year-long-program.
Phase III of the program will be launched in October 2018.
To date, most of the businesses are retail, with the women buying product from a supplier and reselling it for a small profit. Our goal is to have the women create local products for selling, long-term.
Testimonials from the women have been very inspiring:
- “I no longer have to stay home and can earn some wages to help my family.”
- “I am more respected in the community.”
- “The benefits I receive supply needs for my family.”
- “People around see women in a positive way for being creative and positively affecting their economic situations.”
- “I feel good about myself as I contribute to my family.”
- “I have been able to buy goats, now, and pay for my kids’ school.”
FIVE-YEAR IMPACT DATA
Sustainability Plan Program Area 2012 2017
Women reporting regular income 0 29
Monthly income reported:
- $3-$20 0 32%
- $21-$50 0 34%
- $51-$100 0 17%
- $100-$150 0 7%
- $150 Plus 0 10%
- “Inflation for products”
- “Fees/duties when I buy products”
- “Transportation to buy and deliver product”
- “The road leading into the village keeps getting washed out with the hurricanes”