Education & Microloans for Guatemalan Women
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Empower a woman to improve her life and her family's well-being, and to benefit her entire community.
When a woman has access to capital and the education to use it well, she becomes the instrument of her own change - and more. Women so empowered improve living conditions not only for themselves, but also for their families and their communities. By offering women a means to self-employment and self-sufficiency, we inspire them to become leaders, and the results are nothing short of amazing.
Rural, indigenous Guatemalan women often lack the educational and economic opportunities to create their own solutions to poverty. Less than 70% of all girls in Guatemala attend primary school, and less than 50% attend secondary school. 37% of Guatemalan women are unable to read or write.
Capital from a microloan and education in relevant life skills can change a woman's life forever. Loan recipients use these funds to start a new business or advance current businesses: they may purchase additional supplies, remodel storefronts, or hire staff. They also receive educational training sessions that are relevant to their daily lives; for example, training to develop a business or to manage money effectively. They learn to have confidence in themselves and their abilities, to make decisions, share ideas, and speak up for themselves, becoming community leaders and agents of powerful social change.
Make a difference for a woman in Guatemala! Your donation through this Gift That Gives More™ helps fund a microloan and training for a Guatemalan woman in need. Better still, your donation will touch the lives of many women in an amazing cycle of giving. Because the recipient of the microloan repays the amount she was given, the returned money can become a brand-new microloan for yet another woman in need, creating a "pay it forward" effect that touches many lives in a truly international bridge of friendship.
Recent Stories from Microloan Recipients
Through her experience with Friendship Bridge, Marta Cojtin said she has learned how to value women more. Marta has learned a lot from the education provided at monthly repayment meetings, especially with regard to using money effectively. She also expressed that the support she receives from Friendship Bridge is invaluable. Marta started with a small loan, which she used to purchase fruits to sell in the Solola market. She hopes to expand her home to better accommodate her eight children.
Catarina Matom Brito
Before starting her weaving business, Catarina worked as a 'campesino' in the capital city of Guatemala, working in the fields with her husband. Then she, her husband, and their young son moved back to their hometown of Nebaj. There she began to perfect the art of weaving that she had learned as a child. Catarina has only partial use of her left leg, and working in the fields was quite difficult on her. She much prefers the weaving that she can do from her home, which requires less physical labor.
Thankful for her loans that have enabled her to make a living from her art, Catarina dreams of earning enough money to send her son to school past sixth grade.
About Friendship Bridge
Friendship Bridge is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that provides microcredit and educational programs so women and their families can create their own solutions to poverty. The organization promotes women's empowerment through access to education and capital; offers a means to self-employment and self-sufficiency; and inspires women to become leaders and agents of change. Rooted in the belief that when offered microloans, education and encouragement, women embrace the hand-up they desire to make a better life for themselves, their families and their communities, Friendship Bridge currently empowers nearly 16,000 women in Guatemala.
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