We woke up this morning anxious and excited to meet with the 6 women chosen by Ammabel to start businesses. Before we go into the business planning, we gave gifts that had been donated from friends and family to all 32 women. We wanted them to know how loved and valued they are even if they are not one of the six women who will be starting a business. Joy filled Ammabel’s home as they shopped through the assortment of clothes, shoes and purses to pick out exactly what they wanted.
All 30 women have been going through a series of business and savings training the past couple of months. This training was given to us by one of our business professors who has helped start many micro-finance businesses in Haiti and Indonesia. Ammabel did a wonderful job going through all of the training with the women and encouraging each woman to create a well thought out business plan laying out their specific proposals.
Prior to our arrival, Teresa (one of our team leaders) met with each women individually to hear their story and vision for a future business. We were absolutely astounded by the time and energy that these women had put into their business/savings training and plans. Ammabel and Theresa picked 6 women who had a clear and concise business plan and who they felt were trustworthy, diligent and faithful to the EN program to be the test pilots for the savings accounts and micro-loans.
We were a bit hesitant at first to have 6 women begin businesses but after praying and looking over their plans and observing their drive and motivation, we are very hopeful that they will start successful businesses. All 32 women already have a group savings account and system in play, however the 6 women who will be given loans are required to have an additional, individual savings account. The plan is that once the loan is paid off, the money will then be given to another woman in the EN program. Because of the women’s close-knit bond, this concept will give the women further motivation to pay the loan off as quickly as possible.
We left Ammabel’s home with our hearts very full. Avery and I had a fun night out with Grace. She took us to a pork joint where we laughed, ate amazing and slightly sketchy food and heard more of her beautiful story. The Lord is really doing a mighty work in this place and we feel blessed to be a part of it.