[Update August 2009]
We offered 5 $100 loans last September. From that group, every single woman has paid on time and has remained current. Three of those women are going to soon pay off their loan and will take out $150 to expand their businesses. Further, in this first year we have learned a lot about how to simplify the reporting for the Haitians to us.
Second, we’ll be starting a new group this fall, probably October 1st. We’re working to increase the level of reporting from Haiti. MaryEllen Sanok (my mom) was down there in June and met with the women and did an external audit, everything looks great! Women are paying back the loans and their businesses are going well. Each woman reported that they can now feed their kids three meals a day and send their kids to school, which they were unable to do last year.
Year One has exceed all of our expectations!
We have received several donations recently that have assisted us in our needs for this year. Thanks to all of you for your prayers, donations, and advocacy. This is where we can go from here:
1. Please considerÂ going to Haiti to meet with the women, you could share your business skills, teach them a craft, or volunteer with one of the other community programs that Missions of Love offers.
2. Donate to Missions of Love to assist with other programs that have immediate needs. This year, MOL has had a decline overall in giving. Consider helping with one of their numerous programs.
3. Donate forÂ future microfinance needs. We want to continue to grow the program in a steady manner that allows us to do it in a way that is prudent. With that said, next year we will offer more loans. Yes, that money is recycled back into the program, but when we add groups, we want to make sure we have enough to continue on and expand.
4. Set up aÂ speaking engagement maybe you have a group of friends, a church, or a civic group that wants to know more about Haiti and microfinance, we’d love to send someone to speak about what we’re doing.
Thank you for what you’ve been doing to further the movement to help people in Haiti. If you’re interested in getting more involved, please let me know. Peace.
An update from Joe Sanok – Jan. 2009
Why do people give to organizations? They want to know that their money is going to change the world. With the Missions of Love Microfinance program we are doing exactly that. Our program uses $100 to change multiple familiesâ€™ lives.
This is how it works: First, a group of five women decide that they want to be a group, they decide as a team what each woman will sell and what order the loans will occur. The first woman then gets a $100 loan, after she makes 2 payments on time and is current with her loan, the next woman gets her loan, until all women get their loans. The beauty of the program is that the original $100 donation then gets recycled, and given to another group that starts one year later.
Statistics from the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, the founders of the first microfinance projects, found that women were more likely to repay loans, and that they would do it at a higher percentage than most of the developed countries. We currently have three loans of the five given. Every woman has made her payment on time, despite surviving a hurricane and being engaged in a global food crisis.
Our hope is that within three years there would be a council of women that have successfully paid back loans that would oversee and monitor the loans. We currently employ Mdm. Silovert to monitor the program, but clearly the desire and need is to grow. Please join us in prayer, advocacy, and financial giving to join in partnership with the Haitian women that want to change the world, one business at a time
WAYS TO HELP
Pray: Please pray for this project.
Go: Plan a trip to Haiti, with a group or join one that it already going, meet the people and let it change you.
Give: We need resources to pay for loans, wages, and trainers. Use the button below to donate using your credit card or PayPal account.
If you want your money to go to this program, in the â€œSend Us A Messageâ€ line of the donation form, please note if you want your money to help with a micro-loan, Haitian overseer wages, or to send a trainer to Haiti.
[Overview]Â Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Sixty Seven percent of the population is living in poverty, 31.4% of the households have more than seven members and 46% of families have only one room to sleep in.1 One out of 8 children die before they reach the age of five. Life expectancy is 56 years (women), 52 years (men). The majority of the population earns less than $1.70 per day.2
[How weâ€™ll change that]
Microfinance, also called micro-credit, offers small loans to start business. Examples of businesses are: selling food products at the weekly market, making benches, or creating banana leaf mats. In Jolivert, Haiti, weâ€™re offering $100 USD loans. We have created this program as a partnership, where Haitians have reviewed our policies, interest rates, and systems, to have the highest cultural sensitivity. Weâ€™re focusing on women, because research has shown that when women earn money, they are more likely to reinvest it in their children and families.3
Women work together in groups of five. They select one member that will receive her $100 loan. Each month she pays back $8.75, for a total of 5% interest. Other microfinance programs in the area have 20%+ interest, the women thought that was unfair, we agreed. Once the first woman pays back 2 months in a row, the second woman can get her loan, after she pays back two months, the next woman, until all five women have their loans. This encourages them to support one another, learn from mistakes, and spread the risk. Each year that the ladies repay their loans, they can take out a larger loan to expand their business.
We have identified one woman that will oversee the program. She will not be eligible for the loans. Her paid time will grow as the program grows from $120 annually for five hours a week, to $360 annually for 40 hours a week. Ideally weâ€™d like to send someone annually to train the women in new approaches to microfinance, this will be paid for by donations that are not specifically earmarked for loans.
1 World Health Organization, 2007, available at http://www.paho.org/English/DD/AIS/cp_332.htm
2 U.S. Department of State, 2007, available at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/1982.htm
3 Grameen Bank, 2007, available at http://www.grameen-info.org
4 Interest on the loans is used to pay expenses for on-line giving
[Why weâ€™re different]
When MaryEllen Sanok first went to Missions of Love in Jolivert, Haiti in 1998, she had no idea how her family would be changed as a result of that trip. She expanded her nursing skills by going to graduate school to be more effective in her work at Missions of Loveâ€™s medical clinic. Several members of her family have gone to Haiti to serve with her, some leading groups and others starting new ministries, such as this project.
We have a personal connection with the Haitian staff at Missions of Love. We have seen children grow from little kids that we play soccer with, to being teenagers that now have to work. We see the dreams in Franciaâ€™s eyes to become a doctor or nurse. She knows that wonâ€™t happen without a vast knowledge of languages, so Francia is learning French, English, and Spanish, on top of her first language, Haitian Creole.
There is a personal connection to the people. If you want to send a gift to the family of the woman you sponsor, you can. You can visit her. You can email the clinic and give her updates on your family and hear about her business. Of course, most of the women donâ€™t speak English, are not yet computer literate, and donâ€™t read, but in some way you will give them the message that someone cares about them.
We donâ€™t have any paid staff with this program, other than the Haitian that oversees the women, collects their money, and communicates with those of us in The United States. So 100% of your money goes towards what you want, whether that is her wages, a loan, or for a U.S. trainer to meet with the women.
Missions of Love is continually starting new programs. In the last three years, Missions of Love has partnered with the U.S. Center for Disease Control, helped start a peanut butter program that drastically reduced malnutrition, and built a clean water well in Jolivert.
Weâ€™re different because:
*Each volunteer and donor can have a personal connection with where his or her money goes.
*Every dollar is spent where you want it.
*We continually review programs and seek to enlarge the efficiency.
The Microfinance Program is overseen by:
Joseph R. Sanok, Director of Microfinance
Tim Buys, Chair of Finance and Technology
and Christopher Stroven,Chair of Marketing and Development.
Please contact Joseph Sanok with anyÂ questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our address is: 206 Allen Blvd.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
If youâ€™d like to donate to our program via mail, please make your checks out to Missions of Love and send to the above address or donate online using PayPal with the button below.