Microfinance Program: Savings with Education and Microcredit in Colombia

Colombia has approximately 3 million internally displaced people, the second largest internal refugee problem in the world after Darfur, caused by violence from the civil war. Some sources have indicated that in the Choco region, for example, there is one doctor per 10,000 people, but one soldier per 180 people. Also, the unemployment rate is 85% and the average person makes only US $250 per year; or less than US $1 per day. Colombian society is one of the most unequal in terms of economic wealth in the world. As a result, there is wide social and economic exclusion and huge rich to poor disparities. In the city of Cali, chronic poverty caused by social and economic exclusion and violence, has caused child malnutrition, high incidences of HIV-AIDS, family disintegration, intra-familial violence, and lack of income earning opportunities especially for women. Great social inequality and marginalized populations of youth are easy victims of violence, prostitution, and being forced into serving with illegal armed groups. As a result, Episcopal Relief & Development is working with Trinity Foundation, an agency of the Diocese of Colombia, to implement a microfinance program targeting women. The program gathered momentum in 2012 and has had particular success with expanding its reach and engaging communities in the Savings with Education program. The program in 2016 will continue to target mostly female heads of households living in fragile contexts and extreme poverty, continue their training and find, facilitate and support the sustainability of groups. The program has a target of 45 new savings groups formed and will continue to support 55 continuing savings groups. The program will strengthen existing work and expand in the cities of Cali, Silvia, Pasto, Bogota, Cartagena, and Ibaque. This year Fundaction Trinity will also assess the potential for forming savings and loans cooperatives and village banks.

Activities

Identify and distribute microloans to savings groups and individuals., Build the capacity of personnel in the microcredit methodology., Training, exchange, and supervision of facilitators. Facilitation of Education Sessions, Savings with Education Promotion in Bogota, Cali, Cartagena, Guambia (Silvia), Ibague, and Pasto. Identification and training of savings replicators., Savings training and support for new and continuing groups in Bogota, Cali, Cartagena, Guambia (Silvia), Ibague, and Pasto.

Locations

  • Colombia>Valle del Cauca
  • Colombia>Narino
  • Colombia>Tolima
  • Colombia>Bogota
  • Colombia>Bolivar

Sectors

  • Economic Recovery and Development

Other projects