Lend With Care – help me choose!

For a couple of years I have been interested in this charity, but never done anything about it! A blogging acquaintance who lives quite near us, Keith, has even written a guest post about it during 40 Acts in 2014.

Here I reproduce his words, so you know what the charity does:

I spent a couple of years during the early 1980s living and working in Africa, specifically in Nigeria in the west and Tanzania in the east. I recently saw a comment from one of my on-line friends, who told of his decision to become involved in a micro-financing initiative with Care International. I looked at the web site (lendwithcare.org) and immediately found that I could make a difference to a family in Africa – shades of bicycle fundi. If you ask me really nicely, I shall go into what that means and, more particularly, what it means to me, at a later date.

When in Nigeria, I was often overwhelmed by the number of beggars in the streets. Clearly, I couldn’t help all of them. Were I to give one cent to each of a hundred beggars, it would have had no impact, but if I gave a Naira to one man, it would have enabled him to buy a meal. That would have made a difference, and that is part of the reason I support Lendwithcare.

For a small investment, which will be repaid, provided the business doesn’t fail, we can contribute to the success of a small entrepreneur in Africa (or Asia, or South America) and help that person to lift a family out of poverty. When the loan is repaid, it can immediately be applied to another applicant. This arrangement appeals to me on two levels:

  1. This is not buying a man a fish, this is not even teaching a man to fish; this is lending a man the money to buy fishing tackle – he already knows how to fish, and
  2. We know whom it is helping.

When you sign up with Lendwithcare, you have access to a list of people who need funding. Behind each individual or group is a story, explaining what the person or group is aiming to do, how much cash they need to do it, and what the prospective outcome is. That makes it personal, and that’s good.

Loan amounts start at only £15. You will be told when the loan you are helping to provide is fully funded and there will be a repayment schedule. Repayments will be made to your account with Lendwithcare, from where you can use it to make another loan, donate it to Lendwithcare to help with their running costs, or transfer it back to your own bank.

We are, so far, helping three people: two men in Togo, one of whom wishes to grow his small vehicle spares business, the other needs to repair his truck so he can get back to work and provide for his family; and a lady in Ecuador, who wishes to expand her small grocery store to include a restaurant. When those three repay, that money can be re-circulated back to three new entrepreneurs – it just keeps on working.

Although we applaud, and support, other charities, none gives us quite the personal involvement that this one does. It goes beyond “your money will help people like Jim”, and says “your money will help Jim”. I commend it to anyone who will listen.

Every year, Keith and his wife Clare, offer some gift vouchers for people to take part in supporting an entrepreneur. I was lucky enough to receive one this year, & pledged that I would match it. So I have two lots of £15 to invest, and I’d like my readers to be involved.

I have chosen 6 possible people to invest in – I’d like people to help me choose by saying who they think I should support.

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Mr. Sokhom is 38 years old.  He is married and has two children, 9 and 11 years old.  They are at school. Sokhom lives in Kamrieng District of Battambang Province and grows ed cassava on ten hectares. In ten months he will get a yield of 30 tons per hectare. He has been farming cassava for the last 10 years and he knows there is ongoing demand. He hires around 30 villagers to assist him on planting and chopping the cassava root and each of them earns $5 a day.  Sokhom is applying for a loan to purchase commercial fertilizer, pesticide, weed killer, ploughing costs (one hectare costs $100) and to pay wages of the 30 villagers he hires.

I CHOSE HIM BECAUSE HE IS EMPLOYING OTHERS

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Gloria Angamarca lives in the community of La Esperanza, Cantón Ibarra. She is married and has two adult daughters who have families of their own now as well. Gloria has been making roof tiles for houses for 20 years now, with her husband as her business partner. Now, she is applying for a loan in order to start making special roof tiles with a special finish that are in high demand. She needs the loan in order to buy firewood as fuel for the oven and to hire two people who will help her daily. Gloria has managed over the years to build up and keep a large and varied client base who go to her with their needs, as other artisans don’t produce the same kind of tiles as her. Gloria is committed to paying back this loan in 18 months.

I CHOSE GLORIA AS SHE IS A WOMAN WORKING IN A CRAFTS BUSINESS; SHE ALSO WANTS TO EMPLOY OTHERS.

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Pedro Ochoa lives in the neighbourhood of Santa Bertha in the Imbabura region. He lives with his wife and their 4 children. He is employed by a company as a bird feeder, but his salary is minimal, so he decided to start raising pigs as an additional income.
Pedro has requested a loan to be repaid over 18 months. He will invest $900 buying 16 piglets and $600 in feed for the animals. In 4 months they will be ready to sell, which will be a significant income for him. Pedro saw an opportunity to raise animals, and a few months ago built a trough for them. He hopes to continue raising them, expand the pig pen and save more capital.  What he wants is that his children can have a more promising future, and this is why he supports them in their studies.

I CHOSE PEDRO BECAUSE HIS BUSINESS IS ONE THAT CAN MULTIPLY & FINANCE ITSELF WITH SOME INVESTMENT. AND I LIKE PIGS.

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Favour is a large group with 19 members, based in the Katete district of Eastern Zambia.  The average size loan for the women of this group is $205 USD.  They run small scale businesses like salaula (second hands clothes), selling shoes and grocery stalls. They started their businesses mainly to provide for their families including the provision of food and payment of school fees for their children. In most cases, the women care for orphans from deceased relatives or members of the community. (Malaria and HIV are the main causes of mortality in the region.) The group has accessed three loans from the MicroLoan Foundation and this will be their fourth loan. One of these women is Rachel Banda. She is 38 years old and has five children who go to school. She runs a grocery stall selling bathing soap, washing soap, sugar, assorted biscuits and assorted drinks. She would like this loan to top up on her business capital and order more stock for her grocery stall. She has found the MicroLoan Foundation training useful, in particular the section on setting savings goal. She believes it will help her achieve what she wants for her business. From the profits she hopes to build a house for her children.  the loan will be repaid in 6 months,

I CHOSE THIS GROUP, AS THEY ARE BASED IN ZAMBIA, AS RECOGNITION OF THE WORK OUR FRIEND RICHARD HAS DONE IN ZAMBIA. ALSO, IT IS A GROUP SUPPORTING WOMEN.

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Abakorerahamwe CARE Group which can translate “Those who work together” is a voluntary savings and loan group created by Care Rwanda in 2012. The group is made of 25 members: 15 women and 10 men. The group needs this loan in order to buy more sheep and goats for resell, this way, the group members will have money to pay school fees for their children, and they will also buy seeds to do good farming. On average, the group members have five children.  Mrs Martha Uwizeyimana, a group member, (3rd lady from left to right in the picture, green dress with large flowers) explains that they came together after seeing positive change from her neighbours who had joined CARE Rwanda. She attended CARE’s financial literacy program and there, she met other actual group members. They started saving as small as $0.25/week. In the future, they would like to be a registered cooperative, and they would like the members to continue their income generating activities and pay health insurance and school fees for their children. They will repay the loan in six months

ANOTHER GROUP SUPPORTING EACH OTHER & HELPING THEIR MEMBERS TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES

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Ameer Hamza is 20 years of age and runs a tandoor (an oven usually made of bricks or clay, common in South Asian and Middle Eastern countries). He makes and sells naans and chapattis – locally eaten flat-breads – at the tandoori. He works from a shop that he owns and has been running the tandoori for almost two years. His monthly income is 17,000 Rupees ($162), on average. Ameer Hamza is single and lives with his parents and four siblings.  Two brothers and two sisters. Only his youngest sister is receiving education currently. His older brother also works with him at the naan shop. With the responsibility to provide for his parents and siblings, his monthly earnings are extremely insufficient to provide for them adequately. Hamza wants to expand his business by increasing his production of naans. However, he lacks an appropriate capital to invest in his business and has therefore requested a loan. He needs to buy additional quantities of all-purpose flour and other materials to increase his production of naans and chapattis. He is confident that he can manage to increase his sales and consequently his profits after improving his output. He promises to repay the loan in 17 installments.

THIS YOUNG MAN IS STRUGGLING TO SUPPORT HIS FAMILY SO I WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT HIM. I LIKE NAAN BREAD TOO.

So, I ask my readers to help me choose… If you’d like to name two of the candidates, that you think I should support in the comments section below, I will count up the “nominations” at the end of the month and I’ll invest in the most popular two. So please DON’T JUST “LIKE” THIS BLOGPOST: MAKE A COMMENT TOO!

Thank you for your help!

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6 Responses to Lend With Care – help me choose!

  1. I think we’re in the same region now – Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.
    Choosing which entrepreneur(s) to help is always a difficult decision, though you may find that some of those you’ve shortlisted will have been fully funded by the time you get back – it moves quickly at times.
    Inspirational stuff coming up.
    Three years ago, we decided to start lending £15 each month (plus 10% donation to help with running costs). Whatever money is repaid each month, we now add £15 to it and make our monthly choice of entrepreneur(s). Last month, we lent £75.
    Lendwithcare tells us that we have, so far, made 38 loans, helped 150 entrepreneurs and created 47 jobs. Not bad for £15 a month, is it?

  2. Ariel says:

    Gloria is the one who stands out for me. She would be my first choice. She’s a woman trying to make it in a crafts business and struggling. Deciding between the others is less clearcut but I’d say possibly Ameer. It’s a simple enough request for help with a mainstream commodity that ought to sell well, and it sounds as if he’s struggling too.

    It’s a lovely initiative! Good luck and let us know which you go with – and, if you can, how they get on!

  3. Jean Sands says:

    Hard choice, but I like Gloria as well. I looked up Lend with Care and Kiva(found while looking at Lend with Care) using charity navigator to see what they were and how they rated. Both are very acceptable places for you to put your money and I like the idea that you are not just giving money to an organization but to people who want to better their life and those around them. I am thinking of donating to a woman on Kiva. It will be interesting to see if you get the money back, and if not, well you and she tried.

  4. Kezzie says:

    I like Ameer and Favour!

    P.s. thanks for reminding me of this. My friend Ellie does this and it is a super idea.

  5. It’s a very hard decision! Would it be wrong to choose the pigs because they look so cute in the photo? I also like Ameer. He is trying so hard to support his family.

  6. Pingback: A timely reminder | View from the Teapot

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