When We Collaborate Lives Change

If you follow my blog at all, you’ll remember me asking for donations to help a bunch of women out of poverty. People around the world responded by blogging, tweeting and most importantly donating $7,000 to a 2 year microfinance project! And more great news is that I just got the first report from Opportunity International Australia. I am thrilled to introduce you to the 12 women who are now starting or building their small businesses to get out of poverty, and save for their children to go to university.

Furao Trust Group
The Furao Trust Group is composed of 12 female members. Furao is a small village on the outskirts of the nearest town, however the closest market from the village is still 7km away. Furao Trust Group members have to travel 10km to buy stock for their businesses at the large public market in Roxas. In Furao most homes have two rooms, so families often sleep in their living room. Water is accessed from a communal well.

Furao Trust Group members are engaged in various small businesses including tricycle driving, piggeries, vegetable gardening and barbeque vending. With the loans received, members can invest in larger quantities of their product or can expand their range of stock.  Members meet with a loan officer every Thursday to make their loan repayments and receive business training and mentoring. Members also enjoy the strong friendships created within the Trust Group.

Client Profile

Norma Diampoc runs her own sari-sari store business. She is married to Augustus, a farmer. Together they have three children: Cristine, 24 years old, Alma, 22, and Elgie, 18.

Out of the hardships she endured as a child, Norma has become a strong business woman. Being part of a family who did not have enough resources to provide for their needs, she was forced to leave high school early.Norma usually opens her store at 8am and closes it at 9pm. She chose to open a sari-sari store because she is able to earn a living and still fulfill her responsibilities as a wife and mother… (read more from the report)

Usually these women have no access to capital, therefore are unable to obtain business loans. However with microfinance in a Trust Group, they are able to co-guarantee each other’s loans.

Thanks again for collaborating with me online to show your care and generosity. Your tweets, blog posts, encouragement and donations have made a huge difference to these women, and to the future of thier children.