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Zolina is a client of Fonkoze, the largest microfinance institution (MFI) in Haiti. The mother of seven school-aged children, she 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 was initially reluctant to take a loan because she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to pay it back. Yet she took the chance, and has nothing but praise for Fonkoze, the only institution to lend in her remote mountain area. Fonkoze provides its borrowers with services such as literacy classes, business training, and savings and insurance programs, which help its borrowers plan for and recover from the natural disasters that often strike the country.

Zolina, one of five women, 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 garden so as to 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 how microfinance enables its clients to break the cycle of poverty.