Microfinance Projects Encourage Self-Sufficiency
Supplying the tools for life-long change
By Brent Hample, India Partners' President
Part of India Partners’ mission is to encourage the self-sufficiency of those in need in India. We are continually working toward this goal through various projects, including fisheries, goat and buffalo programs, an emu farm, tailoring schools, and IT training for the disabled. By empowering individuals and communities through self-help projects, one donation can multiply and last much longer than a project continually in need of funding.
A fairly new area of self-sufficiency projects for us is microfinance. We are currently partnering with the University of Oregon Microfinance Club to find a worthy partner in India who we can work with to develop more microfinance projects.
Last year, India Partners was awarded two foundation grants to start a revolving loan fund for fisher families. These families, located along the southeast coast of India, lost all of their boats, nets and homes in the Asian Tsunami of 2004. Without boats and nets, they cannot work their trade and feed their families. With the grants, we were able to start a revolving fund. The fisher families could buy a boat and nets, and repay the fund back over time. As the fund grew, it could help more fisher families to buy boats and nets.
Another new project for us is the self-sufficient emu farm. This project was featured in a recent E-news report, and you can read more about it here. I love this project because in addition to providing a way for people in India to become self-sufficient, its proceeds will also benefit a community of orphaned and abandoned children, widows and families. It will take three years and more funds to make this project happen, but after it gets going, it will provide for the community for years to come.
You can help us fulfill our mission to encourage the self-sufficiency of those in need by giving to our Spring Matching Drive. During our Spring Matching Drive, every dollar you give to our Where Most Needed fund by May 31st will be doubled, up to $5,000. Last year during our Spring Matching Drive we raised $11,932. Will you consider giving a gift of $20, $30 or $50 to our Where Most Needed fund?
In addition, ALL gifts received or pledged by April 30th will count towards matching funds from the Alan Shawn Feinstein Foundation. Thank you.