Life-skills Microcredit Mothers' Groups
The purpose of the Life skills Microcredit Mother's Groups is to ensure the sustainability of the students' continued education through the mothers' monthly support meetings. These meetings teach mothers to become self-reliant on a personal and financial level. These groups impact not only the individual families but the whole village community.
Currently IWEN supports 930 mothers in 29 groups in the Dang region of Nepal.
HOW IT WORKS
When a group of at least 25 women in a village choose to come together, they can apply to IWEN to become a Life skills Microcredit Group. IWEN offers foundational organizational support, training and advice however each group is independent, establishing their own rules, deciding their monthly donation, and electing their group's officers.
After successfully running their program for one year, IWEN offers the group a motivational incentive, thus enhancing their communal lending fund. The microcredit fund offers the women more opportunities to start their own business and the group setting gives them the knowledge and support to follow that dream. This peer support has made IWEN's microcredit group extremely successful. Since their inception in 2009, there has not been a single loan default!
IWEN also uses the monthly meetings to host public awareness sessions on topics such as domestic abuse, the value of education for women, mental health, how to vote, etc.
BENEFITS OF OUR MICROCREDIT PROGRAM
- Increases gender equality within the family.
- Increases the quality of life of the whole family through the discussion of family related issues and the monthly awareness topics.
- Changes the status of women from a submissive stance to decision makers working towards the betterment of all members within their group, family and community.
- Provides various livelihood opportunities, which gives women financial capabilities to run their households with self-confidence.
- Ensures that women have a support group to solve current issues and to learn from each other in terms of how to run their livelihood opportunities and deal with difficult family issues.
- Teaches mothers the habit of saving and proper use of money.
Success in Numbers
- 930 members formed 29 women's groups that teach life skills and and offer microcredit loans
- 585 women received literacy training
- 372 women have used microcredit loans to start a business
- 2 of women’s groups have formed collective businesses
- 85 women have used micro loans to buy small plots of land for homes and businesses
- 140 women used microcredit loans to help build safe homes that will withstand the monsoon season (instead of mud homes that need to be repaired and/or rebuilt after heavy rains)