The microcredit project is a part of our community development program. It is focused on christian families that have been through our basic training with one of our field missionaries. With the resources, the training and follow-up each family can then work in rebuilding their lives, starting their own business and raising up support for their homes.
We believe that the microcredit model that has been used in Haiti has had the most lasting impact on community development. We’ve seen proof of this when this model has been applied in the context of socio-economic vulnerability and stunning transformations have occurred in the affected communities.
We have created microcredit projects in two haitian communities: Kwade Boukè (thirteen christian families participated) and Tikajou (17 christian families participated). In spite of a 10% default rate within the projects, we believe the results were positive overall.
In both communities, our main focus has been to start from with sufffering church (Eglize Baptiste Jeruzalem an Eglize Pelerin de Jezi- Cris) where we found families that were in need and lacked administrative skills and financial support. Beyond the monetary investment we trained these families in basic economic and administrative principles. A basic contract is established between the familiy representative who will be responsible for the business and a church leader that will be responsible for overseeing the project and the church’s senior pastor.
The money that is invested has a return period of seven months, with the first month being waved. During that time, the church leader or one of our missionaries will follow-up with each small business helping them with whatever needs that might present themselves.
Due to social instability we cannot reveal the exact location of our projects in the Middle East, but our work has reached a number of different nations in the region. We have started a microcredit project with two kurdish church and a Iraqi christian refugee family. Due to the restrictions on religious freedom, we have been executing our project anonymously to avoid raising any issues with the benefitted families due to their faith.
One of the local Kurdish churches has started a “Dollar Store” model business with the profits being used to sustain different families from that community. Another church has started a small restaurant that has been another source of income and support for the community. An Iraqi family has even raised their support by selling small meals in disposable containers to other refugees around town.
In all these cases, MORE is responsible for the initial financial investment and follow-up. There was no immediate need for administrative training in this location due to their past experience and and in the context of persecution which has made it impossible to establishment a government recognized organization in this part of the region.
In March 2012, two churches from Burundi where chosen to participate in our microcredit project. Twenty families were impacted by the project. Our goal was to increase the families income and to provide better opportunities to those who were part of the project in these unprivileged communities. The project was successfully concluded in 2014.
This project was implemented in three different phases: basic training of those that were chosen with focus on savings, loan, income activities and team work. Each participante was to give a 5% payback fee for 20 months. The payments would be used to cover the local churches administrative fees. The majority of the families developed small farming initiatives to sell vegetables, fruits or cattle.
We consider the microcredit project in Burundi a success case. 93% of the investment money was paid back within the 20 month timeline and about 85% of the families that were involve in the project managed to pay back the full amount and keep their businesses working after the end of the project. Also many of the members from the churches were also impacted as an indirect side effect of the project in the region.
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