Monday, November 18, 2013

Apples of Tilacoca

Right to Left: Rosa, Corina Roberta, Angelica, Ximena, Rosa, Martha, Zandoval. Lucia is not pictured as she left to take care of her cattle. 

This month's KIVA loan goes to the Manzanitas de Tilacoca (Apples of Tilacoca) Borrowing Group which is beginning its first cycle with Pro Mujer Bolivia ("For Bolivian Women" although men also participate in the borrowing groups).

The group consists of eight members, seven women and one man, and is run by a board of directors with Señora Rosa as president. In this group are: Rosa, Corina Roberta, Angelica, Ximena, Lucia, Rosa, Martha, Zandoval. Each member of the group will receive the equivalent of about $415.00 USD. The group members have various businesses, among them: selling cattle, knitting sweaters, knitting blankets, selling stucco, selling electronics, and selling fruit.

In a borrowing group, each member receives an individual loan but is part of a larger group of individuals. The group is there to provide support to the members and a system of peer pressure. Groups may or may not be formally bound by a group guarantee. In cases where there is a group guarantee, members of the group are responsible for paying back the loans of their fellow group members in the case of delinquency or default.

The loan that Manzanitas de Tilacoca are taking out will benefit their small businesses, one of which is Señora Rosa’s. She says that this is the first time that she has joined Pro Mujer. She was invited to apply for a loan by a Pro Mujer representative who came to her home.

Rosa's business is knitting and selling blankets. She says that she learned her knitting techniques from a friend and later decided to set up her own retail shop. The loan will enable her to buy wool at the traditional fairs in the city of El Alto. She will use the wool to knit warm blankets which she will sell at rural festivals. This work allows her to generate income to contribute to the family income, because she is married and has three children. When she was asked what she likes about Pro Mujer, she answered that she likes the access to health care and training in money management for her business.

Please consider lending to a responsible, hard-working individual or group who has no access to credit from a bank through KIVA.

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