Micro-Credit Program for Women
In the Foundation’s community of Gwo Jan, the drastic statistics that make westerners shake their heads in disbelief when @80% of the population live with no salaried jobs, are made flesh and blood in our very neighbors’ lives which motivated the creation of the N a Sonje Micro-Credit program. In 2010, right after the earthquake, NSF was gifted with a significant donation through our US Advisory Board member Dave Porter and his church “First Presbyterian Church of Clark Summit, Pennsylvania. NSF immediately poured this generous gift into a small micro-credit training program for women in the area. The goal of the program has been to empower women in the local community by giving them small, low-interest loans which they can then change into small businesses that would translate into providing a little income for themselves and their families.
In early spring 2013, using the expertise of a long-time friend and experienced facilitator in micro-credit training, “Leres” Sidort, trained about 25 women in the local area, those worst affected by the earthquake, to receive these loans. The number of women almost doubled in the year following the initiation of this program with new donations from the same donor, First Presbyterian Church of Clark Summit, Pennsylvania, thanks to Dave Porter.
January 2017 figures show a decline in repayment due to increased life pressures, inflation and even physical insecurity in the market place, so that the current figure decreased to 20 members, 13 inactive and 7 active. We are very grateful for these gifts that enabled many women to hold their households together during a very critical time in their families’ lives even as the active numbers are low, this line of hope is still an ever encouraging factor in the community.
(photo coming soon) A felt need for women to work with N a Sonje’s visitors grew to where the energy came for the creation in 2012 of this small women’s initiative called AFSAKA or the Association of Women in Solidarity for the Advancement of the Haitian Culture. Their objectives include training women about women’s and children’s rights, working with community elders by providing meals, creating activities for local children during school holidays as well as contributing to the cultural and historical orientation N a Sonje provides for its visiting groups.