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Community Loan Program: Doing a lot with a little

08.01.16 | Outreach | by Kevin Norfleet

Community Loan Program: Doing a lot with a little

    In Haiti, HPUMC partners with the Christ centered nonprofit, Heart to Heart International to provide microfinance support to communities in need.

    HPUMC's Community Loan Program offers small loans (also known as micro-loans or micro-finance), business training and counseling to entrepreneurs in developing countries in order to lift them and their families from poverty. The borrower repays the loan with interest, which in turn grows the capital base allowing for more loans to be extended.

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    Moliere is a tiny village in the middle of southern Haiti that often seems like it’s been forgotten by the world. But for Violet Voltaire and her four children, it’s home.

    In 2010 an earthquake destroyed Voltaire's home. She survives now on money she raises by selling food to others in the village. But life is very hard. There are days Voltaire must choose between feeding her children or spending what little she has buying food to sell the next day.

    The HPUMC Community Loan Program is working to change that.

    The program is built around partnerships with local organizations that are able to help in some of the poorest communities in the world. This partnership helps build up the community, empowering its people in a way that is not only meaningful but also sustainable.

    In Haiti, HPUMC partners with the Christ centered nonprofit, Heart to Heart International to provide microfinance support to communities in need.

    For Voltaire, that led to a one-time loan of $80, to be paid back over three months. This small amount meant Violet could buy more food to sell in the village, increasing the amount she earned on a day-to-day basis.  

    “With the extra leverage I was able to get, I have been able to increase sales and can now afford the monthly school payment,” Voltaire says. “I am very appreciative for this program and hope that it is able to continue.”

    It may not seem like much, but for Voltaire the extra income means she can send her four children to school.

    Voltaire's story is an incredible example of how a positive impact on one life, creates lasting change for an entire family and an entire village. The beauty of this is that HPUMC’s Community Loan Program can replicate this story in villages across Haiti.

    In 2015 the committee helped establish these local, small savings and loan groups in ten different villages. The results: what works out to a $200 investment per person by the committee enables a mom to send her kids to school, a dad to provide lunch for his children who previously went hungry, a mom to pay for the bus, so her kids can go to school in a nearby city.

    Even more than that, the program brings communities together with the pride of having helped themselves and each other to a better life.

    But we can do more.

    I hope that you will partner with the HPUMC Community Loan Program in whatever way you are able. Whether that’s through a donation, giving your time as a volunteer, or just learning more about what the program does.

    Every $200 raised helps break the cycle of poverty, giving some of the poorest people on earth a chance to change their own lives and the lives of their village.


    Have a story you want to share? Email us at . We would love to hear from you.

    Photos via Indra Soria Mounez, Heart to Heart International

    About Kevin Norfleet

    • Member of the Microfinance Committee since 2015
    • Currently a Commercial Manager for Celanese
    • Interested in cycling, soccer and traveling

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