microfinance

Microfinanced Kids Turn Profit for Rice Bowls

‘I really hope that they learn that what Catholic Relief Services does by helping others by giving them a loan, that they know it really works’

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Microfinance: The Power of Saving

Greetings to the readers of the CRS blog! My name is Melita Sawyer, and I work at CRS’ Baltimore office, providing technical advice on savings-led microfinance projects. This is my first blog of what’ll be a regular post. I’m looking forward to sharing our experiences, challenges, and successes in expanding access to financial services to […]

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Microfinance: Helping Women Fight Poverty In Ghana

Women unlock their safe to collect and distribute loan money to the rest of their microfinance group. Photo by Mikaele Sansone/CRS Fr. Kevin Feeney, Vice President and Dean of Formation at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago, IL, recently traveled with a group of seminarians to Burkina Faso and Ghana. The trip was part of CRS’ Global […]

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Microfinance: Breaking Dependency Chains

EthioBlog published this story about a microfinance program aimed at helping people climb out of the safety net: “…The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), CARE, and a host of consortium partners (including Catholic Relief Services), launched PSNP PLUS, a new nationwide development project that will assist poor, rural households in food insecure areas […]

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Microfinance: Peacebuilding With a Savings Program

By bringing people together to save and lend money, SILC groups in Sudan are building bonds of friendship that help promote peaceful coexistence. Photo by Debbie DeVoe/CRS John Katunga, CRS’ regional technical advisor for peacebuilding and justice in East Africa, shares thoughts from his recent visit to Khartoum, Sudan. A few months ago, I traveled […]

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Microfinance Lessons Learned by Experience

I wrapped up my International Development Fellowship last week and this is my final post for the CRS Blog. There is so much I could still write about savings-led microfinance. In the end, I decided that since the process of organizing and training savings groups has been a new experience for me, I would summarize […]

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Animation, Slide Show Explains Microfinance Concepts

Caritas Switzerland explains micro-finance through a cool slide show and animation. Click on the “E” in the upper right hand corner of the slide show for the English version. (You can also choose German or French.) Hat tip to Patrick Nicholson of Caritas Internationalis.

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Microfinance “Conversations” Sample

In response to comments about his microfinance “Conversations” post, Ben Hess offers this example from the “Learning Conversation” tool CRS and our partners use with self-help savings groups. I’ve translated an example of one of the 11 topics that we cover in the savings-led microfinance Learning Conversations guide that CRS developed in Guatemala. The 11 […]

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‘Conversations’ Guide Microfinance Decision Making

Benjamin Hess is a CRS international development fellow living in Guatemala and working with savings-led microfinance programs. He writes a weekly (schedule permitting) blog post about microfinancing in Guatemala. In previous posts, I’ve emphasized that autonomy is an essential component of a successful savings group. In theory, it sounds easy to promote. In practice, however, […]

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‘Promotoras’ Spread the Microfinancing Word

Benjamin Hess is a CRS international development fellow living in Guatemala and working with savings-led microfinance programs. He writes a weekly (schedule permitting) blog post about microfinancing in Guatemala. Once promotoras help form the initial savings groups within a community, others see the benefits and want to start more groups. In most cases, members of […]

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