THANK YOU for being a part of the WMI community in 2018! We thought you would enjoy some photos of the ladies and their families engaged in loan program activities throughout the year. If you participate in end of the year giving please consider a gift to WMI in support of these awesome village women in rural East Africa.
The skillful leadership of Olive Wolimbwa (speaking) and Jackie Namonye (to her left) has allowed our local staff to flourish. Each year they host a graduation ceremony to honor the hardworking borrowers and the entire village celebrates.
New hairdos created at village salons started with WMI loans generated a lot of admiring looks throughout the community.
Building loan hub offices is an integral part of WMI's loan program and the women utilize the buildings extensively, also making them available for community events.
In the village you frequently see a woman engaged in some type of demanding physical labor that makes you think her business must not be doing well. Then after stopping to talk to her you find out she owns a gigantic cabbage farm and is a very successful businesswoman. Encounters like that are a constant reminder of how easy it is to misconstrue cultural cues. They also remind us of the critical importance of understanding cultural context in designing an effective loan program.
WMI is supporting skills training for rural women to become involved in community wildlife conservation - a new avenue for women who want careers outside traditional tribal roles. It takes a lot of daily bottle feedings to satisfy orphan elephant calves in Northern Kenya.
A metal lock box is used to collect and store funds in a WMI loan hub in Tanzania. Handling funds in full view of loan group members creates financial transparency and trust among the members.
Every year WMI president Robyn Nietert visits the loans hubs and during the summers college interns travel to the hubs to help with a raft of projects. This close connection has allowed WMI to understand the complex dynamics of village-level lending and the unique business demands of rural women.
The majority of women in the loan program are between 20 - 40 years old so their babies are a happy addition at meetings and loan collections. Owning a business means women can support their families and become financially independent.
The newest (and very popular) member of the WMI family - a van capable of carrying 10 staff members at once over the challenging roads.
Though the new van makes transport easier - the dilapidated roads and crazy traffic still make every outing an adventure for the ladies.
A borrower's well-stocked fresh produce business.
Goat-raising in Tanzania - quite a profitable business.
The pre-K class at a private academy started by a WMI borrower.
Fresh picked greens for the holiday!
Your generosity was pivotal in helping WMI reach a fundraising landmark: by the end of 2018 we will have raised over 2 million dollars to support rural women. Because of your support, the WMI loan program has now impacted over 500,000 women and their family members, dependents and business partners.
Please consider WMI as a part of your year-end giving strategy so that we can continue to expand our operations. WMI operates very efficiently at the grass roots level, with less than 2.5% of donations going to overhead. We promise to continue to provide a high yield return on every donation dollar.