Monday, September 22, 2008

Micro-Financing really does work!

Hello Everyone,

Greetings from Mumbai India! Sam and I have many stories we would like to share with you, but very briefly I wanted to tell you all about our first introduction to micro-financing in Cebu Philippines.

The RAFI group took us to their micro-financing operations outside of Cebu, where they currently lend to about 10,000 Filipino women.

We went to their weekly meeting where the women deposit their repayment of the loan, their savings, and some of them received payments from the Micro-Bank. . It was incredible to actually watch these women receive their loan, especially after hearing some of their stories. Check out the video below of a women who runs an small bbq/ convenience store and is pregnant with her 8th baby. Talk about time management!

Most of these women operate at least 2 businesses and just about everyone in the room had a convenience store. The types of businesses ranged from hog raising and farming to a nail center and bakery.

Over the years of working with this bank and meeting weekly in this room the women had grown extremely close. It felt like a sorority meeting with all of the giggles, gossip, and inside jokes we got lost in. These women worked together as a team; covering payments if one of the women was not able to pay, offering advice, and babysitting each others children.

Then Sam and I asked the big question: Does micro-financing really work? This sparked a passionate response from the group. I didn’t film the entire response but check out the video below.

This women, Mary Faye, who supplies fish to local restaurants, explained to us how another women in the room was able to send her children to college with profits from her business. She was also able to purchase a vehicle to deliver her eggs not only to her village but all of the villages around her.

These women confirmed to us that micro-financing really does work! The question now is how can you take micro-financing to the next level?


Patrick said...

i'm so jealous of you guys right now. It's good to hear that microfinance really works, especially since that's what I think i want to do with my life.

kozawa said...

Woody! Great videos...keep them coming. I am glad to hear that micro-financing truly does impact the lives of people around this world. You and Sam are so fortunate to have this opportunity and I am thankful that you can share it with all of us. On a side note, I have been apartment shopping and will keep you updated. My biggest fear is that you will fall in love with traveling so much that you never come back...haha! Take care bud!