Friday, October 14, 2011

Ending the Week with Inspiration and Abundance

 Maria Pascuala of VB "Rositas" crocheting a poncho

Happy Friday DHF Family!
I’d like to begin by thanking you all for your continuous support in every sense of the word: spiritually, emotionally, and economically. Over the past month and half our village banking project has transformed and grown in so many ways, keeping our entire Cajamarca office on the go and determined to bring abundance to our women.  As of October 2011, our village banking project is now comprised of 21 banks and 216 beneficiaries. Not only have we fulfilled our goal of forming 10 additional village banks, we’ve now surpassed our goal of serving 200 low income women in Cajamarca, Peru by 16.
Since January, Hope House has provided 394 educational opportunities for our loan recipients which are helping our women develop new skills that provide additional income to grow their businesses and sustain their families. Year to date, loan recipients have reported $2,923.13 in additional income and $1,083 in additional savings thanks to our trainings. Beyond the financial rewards, my conversations with women have opened my eyes to the spiritual rewards that our Microcredit Plus model is providing.

More than 40 loan recipients attending a jewelry class in the Hope House
Magdalena Chatilan of Village Bank “Progressing Women” commented that, “Crochet classes in community have elevated my spirit and self-esteem. I never imagined that I could make money producing crochet products. Now, I am more financially independent and no longer have to ask my husband for an allowance. I feel so blessed to be a part of this project.” After a culinary class in the Hope House where women learned how to make ceviche, Celia Lara of Village Bank “Divine Son” shared the following: “Cooking classes are my favorite. The recipes are so easy to follow. Everything that I learn in the Hope House, I put into practice and the money I make I reinvest into my grocery stand.”

Village Bank Promoters Juana Mantilla and Bertha Garcia hard at work.

Lastly, I’d like to share a new addition to the Village Banking Project. With the growth of our project came the need to include a second village bank promoter with the necessary skills to help our women manage their loans, savings, and businesses. Instead of looking outward, we were fortunate enough to look inward and hire Juana Mantilla, former Village Bank President of “God’s Blessing.” Juana had previously worked as a secretary for the Municipality of Baños del Inca, but with a change in mayor, was relieved of her duties and unable to find a steady job. As a single mother desperate to pay the bills, she began selling roasted chicken’s feet (a common snack food in Peru) near her home in the evenings. Thanks to a loan from our village banking project, she was able to purchase a grill and increase sales. Now Juana will be able to put her profession in practice and help women on their journey of abundance. Her contagious laugh, charisma, and dedication have brought a breath of fresh air to the office. And I am proud to say that DHF is now promoting a legacy of abundance by providing beneficiaries with an opportunity to create and share wealth.
As you can see much has happened in such little time. As we approach the final months of 2011, I’ll be sharing more stories of daily life here in Cajamarca and of our women’s transformations thanks to your contributions.
Have a great weekend everyone!