Micro loans from FINCA could help Nema Al-Jahran in Jordan buy more goats to increase her farm income. Tamam in Malawi could purchase beehives and harvest honey and beeswax to sell. Lalanne in Haiti could buy a second-hand sewing machine to remodel and decorate clothing in her little dress shop. With a small loan, Vast Manowa in Zambia could offer more services in her hair salon.
FINCA (Foundation for International Community Assistance) remains a popular and successful Mission project among the Good Shepherd community. Through FINCA’s Village Banks, women obtain modest loans, expand their production, repay the loans with interest, and learn to set aside savings. Thus the funds continually rotate back into their economy. The women’s repayment rate exceeds 90 percent.
Since 2006, our United Methodist Women have raised $5,000 to sponsor each of the 8 FINCA Village Banks, which is over $40,000 in dollars raised. Our banks are in Afghanistan, Mexico, Haiti, Jordan, Malawi, Zambia, Guatemala, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
UMW will continue to seek support among the congregation and our friends to fund additional Village Banks for FINCA. We have developed imaginative ways of raising funds, both among church groups and as individuals. Donations have been made by our circles and fellowship groups, by the sale of heirloom jewelry, and by teas and used book sales.
Around the globe, people’s need for life’s basics is on-going. With our donations, we will continue to give working women in poorer countries a “hand up, not a hand-out” to change their children’s lives and the lives of generations to come. As the use of technology has advanced even in remote parts of Third World countries, FINCA has kept pace. For example, it has provided ways to allow people to set up networks of communication without traveling prohibitive distances. And this takes funding.
Would you like to participate in the mission?
Contact the church office for more information or phone Fran Syverson at (626) 278-1313.