As of June 2014, the Guatemala Women’s microfinance project is under way. The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor has selected Namaste Guatemaya, an affiliate of US based nonprofit Namaste Direct, as its local partner in an educational project funded by a Rotary Global Grant. The primary goal of the project is to reduce poverty among marginalized and underserved Guatemalan women. In addition, our Rotary local partner will be Guatemala City based Rotary Club, RC Las Americas.
The project combines training, business mentoring and microfinance loans to help women increase profits, formalize business infrastructure and enter the formal business sector. RCAA will take a significant role in overseeing and managing the project, including self-funded visits by Club members. Rotary Foundation Global Grant projects – a new concept in the Rotary world – fund humanitarian projects with an emphasis on training. They have measurable goals that must be are sustainable beyond the term of the funding. In this project, RCAA’s $20,000 is leveraged to a total of $105,000.
Our current plans call for our club’s delegates to head for Antigua City, Guatemala for a week in mid-October. The visit will include 3 to 4 days of work participating in various project activities, attending project related meetings, and visiting the women’s business facilities. Depending on interest, the Project Team will be happy to arrange appropriate R&R activities for the rest of the week. Over the next 12 months we will arrange for subsequent trips for our members in early 2015. We will issue regular progress updates for the duration of this project. Contact Paul Smith (734 680 6900), Len Stenger (734 994 0505) or Ashish Sarkar (734 834 4746) for more on the proposed trip.
You can use the link below to donate to this project.
Here are some photos:
1. A group of program clients during the training sessions
2. A Namaste instructor teaching a financial literacy class
3. A Namaste Client with the stove where she makes tortillas to sell in her store
4. A Namaste Client receiving training at her roadside business
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