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Microfinance in the field

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  1. Angelita’s story: beauty salons with a social mission

    January 13, 2017 - by Blanca Méndez - 0 comments

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    In a bustling Bacolod mall we meet Angelita Tupaz (50). Angelita became a client of Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF) eight years ago with an individual loan of PHP 50,000 (around € 1,000). She used the loan to open a shop selling hair products. The mall we visited is now home to three of her branches, including her first shop. Angelita invited us into one of her beauty salons and we settled into hairdressing chairs to hear her story.

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  2. Dungganon and women’s empowerment on the island of Negros

    January 11, 2017 - by Blanca Méndez - 0 comments

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    On Monday I visited Negros Women’s for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF) on Negros, an island of the Visayas in the Philippines. To get there, I had to fly from Manila to Bacolod, where we were warmly welcome by a NWTF representative and drove through sugar cane fields to our final destination. On the road, I saw people on motorbikes wearing rain ponchos and a festival of colourful umbrellas. 

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  3. Searching for women’s economic empowerment

    March 6, 2015 - by Blanca Méndez - 1 comment

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    Women’s empowerment comes in many different forms.  As orchestrated efforts are required to make significant advances in women’s empowerment, it would also not be fair to attribute women’s empowerment entirely to one sector or development initiative. Take microfinance, for instance. Microfinance’s impact on women’s empowerment is often measured by the number of female borrowers. This form of measurement does not take into account other contributing factors such as decision making power, access to resources and self-determination. A microfinance loan alone cannot determine whether or not a woman is empowered, however access to microfinance “has been seen as contributing not only to poverty reduction and financial sustainability, but also to a series of ‘virtuous spirals’ of economic empowerment, increased well-being and social and political empowerment for women themselves, thereby addressing goals of gender equality and empowerment”*.

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  4. A colony of hope

    February 17, 2015 - by Blanca Méndez - 0 comments

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    The Shanyidan Colony is located in the surroundings of Khurda. The less colourful area is a clear contrast with the other villages, but respectively for a reason:  this colony is the home of 35 families with members that were affected by leprosy.

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  5. Together we are stronger

    February 16, 2015 - by Blanca Méndez - 0 comments

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    We started the field trips with a visit to Maanaveeya’s partner, Annapurna Microfinance Pvt. Ltd (AMPL). Its Balipatna branch is about 45 minutes away from the hotel. The road is filled with school girls on bikes, motorcycles, cars and people walking trying to reach school or work as fast as possible.

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  6. Ready to start

    February 15, 2015 - by Blanca Méndez - 0 comments

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    The introductory meeting will be the first time all participants come together. This time, the group was composed of 12 people from Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. 

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  7. Once upon a time…

    February 13, 2015 - by Blanca Méndez - 0 comments

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    A week ago, I was able to get in contact with Vellore CMC to arrange a visit to Oikocredit’s first partner, Vellore Christian Medical College. It was around 7 am when I left for an almost 3 hour drive to connect with our partners at Vellore.

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  8. Think global, act local

    February 12, 2015 - by Blanca Méndez - 0 comments

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    One of the main features of Oikocredit is to have a network of  regional and country offices worldwide. In India, Oikocredit works through its subsidiary Maanaveeya Development & Finance Private Limited (Maanaveeya) that acts as a regional office with area managers to cover this enormous country. 

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  9. Passage to India

    February 11, 2015 - by Blanca Méndez - 0 comments

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    A warm breeze with a subtle scent of jasmine makes me realize I’m back in India – Hyderabad to be exact. This is the first time I’ve been to Asia for an Oikocredit study tour and I’m very much looking forward to meeting our staff and partners here.

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  10. We’ll keep in touch

    June 6, 2014 - by Blanca Méndez - 0 comments

    Study tour participants

    I usually feel a mix of emotions on the last day of a study tour and Bolivia was no exception. On the one hand, I was glad that the study tour had been successfully completed and that everybody was very happy about the experience. On the other hand, it was sad to say our good-byes and see everyone leave.

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