Zolina has been a client of Fonkoze, the largest microfinance institution (MFI) in Haiti, for more than a year. She was initially reluctant to take a loan because she was afraid she couldn’t pay it back. Yet this mother of seven school-aged children was having difficulty making ends meet, so she took out a loan to purchase consumable items -- such as coffee, beans, peas, mushrooms, potatoes and bananas -- to sell at the market.
She has nothing but praise for Fonkoze, which is the only institution to lend in her remote mountain area. In addition, Fonkoze provides its borrowers with other services (including literacy classes, business training, and savings and insurance programs), which help its borrowers plan for and recover from the natural disasters that too often strike the country, where more than 75% percent of the population lives on less than $2 per day.
Zolina, one of a group of five women currently in their third loan cycle, has new hope that her children will be able to stay in school and eventually find good jobs. She also hopes to use her next loan to buy seeds for a little garden where she will be able to grow, and then sell, her own vegetables.
How does Fonkoze staff know which financial services and training will most benefit the poor? They use Grameen Foundation’s Progress out of Poverty Index® (PPI®) to ensure that they are reaching the poorest people with effective products and services – and that their clients are moving out of poverty over time. With Grameen Foundation’s help, Fonkoze is demonstrating the positive impact of microfinance on its clients’ lives, enabling them to break the cycle of poverty.