For economic development, we collaborate with Fonkoze, a Haitian micro-lending bank, to create lending opportunities for mostly poor women in rural communities. Our agreement with Fonkoze is that we would supply the funds necessary for their first year start-up expenses, and they would then do everything possible to ensure that the bank would be profitable after one year. If it is not, they would then incur the additional expenses to bring it to profitability.
The town of Pignon, an area with an estimated population of 30,000 people, had no bank at all until we made this agreement with Fonkoze. Within 7 months after opening, this bank became profitable. Since that time it has loaned out about $1 million to mostly poor women with a very high payback record. The increased economic activity in Pignon is as a result has been phenomenal. We intend to duplicate this success in other towns in Haiti.
We collaborate with many other organizations on many of our projects (see “Collaborations” under “About Us”) and hope to expand our community development services to include agriculture, medical services, infrastructure like roads and electricity, etc.