A small village banking program in St. Marc provides a mechanism for women to lend and borrow from a fund they built with Rayjon’s help. The repayment rate is well over 90% among the lenders and borrowers in the program. The program is about empowering women and helping them increase their self-esteem, financial situation, and ability to provide for their families.
Our microcredit program has a 100% repayment rate! The success of the program hinges on our partnership with the local grassroots Women’s Federation, which is active in 7 distinct villages in the region. Together elected leaders vet and support beneficiaries; each one agreeing to support the others to achieve their goals and repay their loan. There is a strong system of accountability and trust in place. Together we plan to focus future energy on economic development and women’s microcredit programming, especially as includes other training that has proven effective in helping beneficiaries increase their capacity to support themselves, improve farming outcomes and participate in the local market economy.
The microcredit beneficiaries come mainly from the rural communities surrounding the city of St. Marc. The unemployment rate is high and there are few opportunities, especially for women. Being able to access funds to start-up a small business (often selling goods in the marketplace) can be just the boost these women and their families need.
There is a need to expand and better support this program to enable more women to access microcreditloans and to integrate other training (including literacy, financial literacy, business and management skills).