Everything will change. A Ministry of WorldVenture.
My dream since freshman year of college has finally come true. I have helped start a Micro Finance Project in my church (Tiekelezo) to help women in need in that church. There are about 1,000 people who go to that church and many need help. We had originally planned on making this a project solely for women who have lost their husbands through his death or abandonment. Now, we extended it to include any women in the church in need. The Tiekelezo Church Committee choses who to accept into the program since they know best the needs in the church.
I want to briefly explain how this all got started, because as much as I wanted to start something like this I actually wasn’t the one to initiate it. Almut’s host dad (Tima) has a small shop in town where he sells everyday items, but he has also started a small bank he runs right out of his shop. He had asked Almut several months ago if she could help him make his business more professional. Business stuff doesn’t interest her so she asked if I was interested since it sounded like it was a Micro Credit Bank. Funny enough she told me about this while I was sick with malaria. After I got better I told Bakary (our Project Coordinator) about Tima’s request and Bakary suggested we start a program in the church to help widows since I was interested in Micro Credit. So, really this all started without me having to do much.
This is how Tima’s bank works… People open up an account with him and must pay into that every day. They get to chose at the beginning of each month what they would like to pay each day, and the last payment they make at the end of the month goes to Tima for his pay. These clients can ask for credit as well. So, he deals in saving accounts and giving small loans out.
In order to get this project up and running we needed some start up money. So, I gave $500 from my project account (the amount available each year) provided by supporters. The church chose 10 women in need we could give $50 each to start small businesses. Last Friday we had a meeting with these women, explained the project, they signed a contract, and we gave them the money. I’m excited to see how these women do. Several of them want to sell peanuts which I have heard has good money in it. Soon I’m going to start visiting these women and see how everything is going. I know it was God who got all of this started and I can’t wait to see what he does with it. Please be praying for this project and these women. If all goes well the church will be able to continue helping more women year after year.