Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Saludos from Amy!

Since I’ve been in Cajamarca I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with the awesome staff of Multicredit, our microfinance program partner.

First, there is Bertha, who is in charge of business support for our loan recipients. She teaches our women about useful topics like customer service and marketing. She also makes periodic follow-up visits to see how they are implementing what they have learned. Have they named their business? Do they have a visible list of prices? Do they know how to treat their customers? Loan recipient Nancy Cacho says that Bertha taught her how to differentiate her business by giving it a name and a logo. She plans to decorate her ice cream stand with the logo “Helados Nancy” to stand out from the competition.

Bertha giving business chats.

Another gem from the Multicredit staff is Elizabeth, our village bank promoter. She gives information sessions to women who are interested in forming a village bank to make sure they know about all the requirements from the beginning. She talks about the three pillars of a village bank: repaying your loan in a responsible manner and saving, business assessment, and integral human development through participation in Hope House classes. Women love Eli and say they have learned a lot about values like punctuality and responsibility from her. Loan recipient Fani Saldaña says Eli taught her the importance of coming to meetings on time.

Elizabeth teaching the women about group loan requirements.

And of course there is Oswaldo, the director of Multicredit, who enthusiastically takes on the village bank project in addition to running Multicredit’s personal loan and savings plans.

DiscoverHope is very fortunate to have women like Bertha and Elizabeth as program partners. They are willing to do whatever it takes to make our village banks successful, whether it means trekking through the countryside of Baños del Inca to reach faraway houses, meticulously compiling monthly reports, or spending long hours meeting with women.

Elizabeth and Bertha.

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