Micro credits for mothers is a Dutch foundation established to fight poverty in Asia by providing women in Asia with small loans. Little or no interest rate is charged. The loans enable women to make investments for a sustainable way of living. By doing so, the quality of their lives and that of their children improve. The foundation also provides women with coaching and advice on how to set up and improve their businesses.
Micro credit for mothers was founded in 2005 by Erlijn Sie (director) and Samantha Rofeles when they saw the harrowing and hopeless situation in Cambodia first hand. They gave a begging woman on the street a barbeque and a bucket of corn to sell so that she could take care of herself and her family. This encounter started off the idea to start the foundation.
According to Ilse Visser (board member), their foundation makes a difference because it the reaches the poorest of the poor. Other micro financing organisations avoid loaning money to the poorest in the fear of not receiving the money back. But, Visser, in fact, prizes the foundation for producing high reimbursement rates (80 to 90 percent) which enables it to fund itself. Money generated by the mothers is reinvested in the community for other micro finance projects.
Women the poorest of the poor
Micro credits for mothers focuses on women, because studies show that most poor people are women. Access to financial services improves the status of women within the family and their communities; thus contributing to their emancipation.
Reduce poverty better lives
The mission of the organisation is to improve living conditions of disadvantaged and deprived children in Asia through micro credits for mothers. This ultimately enhances autonomy and economic independence of mothers and of the quality of not only their lives but also of those of their children. In effect Micro credits for mothers also contributes to the further development of the country and its economy.
The foundation has several different activities to achieve its objectives:
- Raise funds for mothers of disadvantaged children in Asia.
- Teach skills and craftsmanship to promote self-sufficiency.
- Increase the income of the mothers.
- Consult with mothers so they can keep generating revenues.
- Connect people in Asia with the Netherlands to exchange knowledge, experience, and best practices.
The structure of the organisation is made up out of a director (Erlijn Sie), board members Samantha Rofeles, Ed Mönchen and Ilse Visser), volunteers and sponsors. Neither do board members nor volunteers receive any payment whatsoever.
Micro finance programmes in Asia
On location in Asia, Micro credit for mothers works in partnership with locally established organisations to tailor-make a micro finance programme. The partners have the cultural knowledge, experience and access to target groups it takes to achieve the foundation’s goals. The website describes two projects in Cambodia and Sri Lanka. Other examples of successful projects are visible on the homepage, and range from buying ingredients for sausage rolls, breeding pigs, opening up a beauty- and bridal salon to purchasing a stove and ingredients for selling snacks.
How can you contribute?
Besides following Micro credits for mothers on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you can support Micro credits for mothers in different ways:
Each euro you donate will be entirely spent on loans for women in Asia. Bank details are on the website.
Organise a fundraising event
On the Micro credits for mothers website, you will find many ideas on how to hold a fund raising event so family, friends, neighbours and co-workers can get involved. Instead of receiving birthday gifts, ask for donations to finance a bike, sewing machine or cow for the foundation. Organise a spring-cleaning and sell all your junk. If you work at a restaurant or canteen ask customers to add one euro to the receipt or dedicate your tips to Micro credits for mothers. Get yourself sponsored if you‘re planning on running a marathon.
Apply your skills to the foundation
The foundation is looking for volunteers preferably on a regular basis to make films, design e-cards and downloadable gadgets, translate Dutch to English for the website, print folders, distribute flyers, place a banner on your website, write an article for the media etc. Fill in the contact form to find how you can help or send an email to [email protected].