September/October  2012 




In This Update:


  • Annual Giving Campaigns:
    • WMI Qualifies for Worldbank Community Connections Campaign
    • WMI Participates in IMF Helping Hands Campaign
    • WMI Number for Combined Federal Giving Campaign - 40340


 Results of Ongoing Four Year Borrower Survey

In the spring of 2011, WMI reported the results of a survey of the first 120 women who had transitioned to bank loans after participating in the WMI loan program for 2 years. The report documented the evolution of the successful businesses launched by these original borrowers.  



In the summer of 2012, fifty of the original borrowers took part in a follow up survey which continued to track their business operations and household living standards. Their ongoing success is documented in the most current report. When they started in the loan program most of the women were living on less than $180 per year and did not have independent businesses. In the past 18 months:



  • 95% increased business profits;
  • 90% increased their sales;
  • 80% increased their annual savings rate;
  • Average reported annual business income was an impressive $1,360; 
  • 71% added new lines to their business, reducing risks by diversifying;
  • 90% reported that their business is more stable now than ever before.


  • Nearly 60% purchased land;
  • Over 30% purchase a cow;
  • Nearly 30% purchased a TV;
  • Nearly 15% purchased a motorcycle.

(This is a very positive outcome as the accumulation of assets, especially productive assets such land or a cow, contributes to the long-term stability of both businesses and households.)



  • Nearly 70% improved their homes by building a new house or renovating an existing one, improving the roof or floor, or adding furniture;
  • 95% of married participants said that their husbands now help more with household choresr90% reported that their relationships with their husbands had improved;
  • Nearly 95% reported that their standing in the community had improved since joining WMI;
  • With four years of operating data now available, WMI is pleased to report the significant and lasting impact of the loan program in improving living standards for impoverished rural women and their families.  Click here to view the complete Report.

 WMI Receives Boeing Company and TSF Grants


During the past two months WMI has received extremely generous grants from two very loyal institutional supporters: In September, The Towards Sustainability Foundation (TSF) provided a $20,000 grant to WMI and in October The Boeing Company issued a $34,500 grant to WMI. This is the fourth annual grant to WMI from TSF and the third annual grant Boeing has provided. We are so very appreciative of this steadfast support. 

The dedication of the TSF and Boeing resources to WMI's mission and goals is an inspiration to all of here at WMI. Although we are a small non-profit, we are returning big results using limited resources. We are so pleased that our work is recognized by both TSF and Boeing in this very meaningful way.

WMI 500 Annual Cocktail Party - November 4

The WMI 500 annual cocktail party is scheduled for November 4, 2012, from 5 - 7 P.M. at the home of WMI Board Member, Betsy Gordon. The WMI 500 is a group of men and women who have pledged to contribute $250 a year for two years to WMI. The ongoing dedication of this group of supporters is greatly appreciated. Their contribution pledges improve WMI's ability to prepare accurate budgets and manage cash flow so that we can maximize our impact. The annual cocktail party is an opportunity for the contributors to socialize in the relaxed atmosphere of Betsy's home, and to hear about WMI's plans for the upcoming year.

Join WMI in Annual Giving Campaigns

Worldbank. For the first time, WMI has qualified this year to participate in the Worldbank's World Bank Group Community Connections Campaign! The Community Connections Campaign is the Bank Group's own workplace giving program, through which employees and retirees can give back to their community in the Washington, D.C. region. It is administered by the World Bank Community Connections Fund (WBCCF), a separate nonprofit organization that was established to facilitate charitable giving by Bank Group staff and retirees.

The FY13 Campaign will run from Monday, November 5, 2012 through Friday, January 4, 2013. During this period, Bank Group employees and retirees can make pledges to WMI. To remain on the Campaign list in the future, WMI must receive at least a total of $500 in designated pledges from at least 10 donors. If you or anyone you know works at the Worldbank or is a contractor or retiree from the Bank please urge them to participate by supporting WMI in the Campaign. Next year, WMI will qualify for matching funds during the Campaign. This is a wonderful opportunity for WMI to expand its revenue sources.


IMF. WMI will continue to be included in the IMF's in-house Annual Giving Campaign, called the "Helping Hands Campaign". Fund employees and retirees donate to the charities of their choice through payroll deduction or a one time payment. The IMF's Civic Program matches donations at 50 cents for every dollar, up to a maximum of $5,000 per contributor.
The Campaign begins mid-October and finishes at the end of December.


CFC. WMI is also participating once again in the 2012 Combined Federal Giving Campaign. Federal employees can contribute to WMI during the 2012 Combined Federal Giving Campaign. WMI's CFC number is 40340.

Judy Lane's Work with WMI in Tanzania
   teaching TZ  

 Judy Lane is WMI's liaison to the loan hub launched in north-central Tanzania in January 2011. This is a very challenging area to work as the Maasai women in the loan program has been relocated by the government from their traditional homelands in the Ngorongoro Crater to a conservation area outside of the Crater (NCA). The area where they now live is highly regulated - access to outside visitors is limited, agriculture is restricted, and water is scarce. It is about 2 hours to Karatu, the nearest town. Nevertheless, Judy initiated an outreach program in Alailelai Ward two years ago, starting with small scholarships and goat rearing. She then contacted WMI to add the microfinance program.


A fearless traveler, Judy was born in tjudyhe west Bronx in 1953 and raised in New York City. She got a taste of the outdoors on teen trips out west in a traveling school bus. She attended Hampshire College, where her world view was transformed during a 1975 National Outdoor Leadership School trip to Kenya that included backpacking to Maasai country. She returned from Kenya after 3 months, changed colleges and majors and pursued studies in environmental science at UMass Amherst in the hopes of eventually joining the Peace Corps in Africa. After college, she continued her studies at the University of California, Davis, receiving a MS degree in the Ecology of lakes. Plans of returning to Africa were put on hold as she pursued a career researching fresh and saltwater systems, married fellow environmentalist Mark Mattson, and settled in Oakham, MA to raise their two adopted boys. 


In 2010, with their sons in boarding school, the opportunity arose for a return trip to Africa - this time to Tanzania. Judy arranged a hike with the Maasai, which was led by John Kitamwas, who guided them through not just the bush, but also Maasai villages, educating them about the current struggles of his tribe.


Upon returning to the USA, Judy decided that the time was finally right for her to pursue her earlier dream of working in Africa. Consulting with John, they set up a CBO (community based organization) in Alailelai village that started with an education program providing tuition for secondary schools. The CBO has expanded to include a goat project to provide animals for the poorest families, basic health support for the villagers, and a beading project to find markets outside Tanzania for the local women's beadwork. After hearing about WMI's work in east Africa, Judy contacted Robyn Nietert to launch the loan program in January 2012.


Since Establishing the CBO, Judy has traveled to Tanzania six times. She maintains regular contact with the women's group running the WMI loan program and offers ongoing guidance and support. Without her knowledge, insight and dedication, WMI would not have been able to establish this first village-level microfinance project for Maasai women in the NCA.


Through Judy's work in Tanzania she met Rachel Blackmore, founder of Weston Turville Wells for Tanzania (WTWT), which sponsors clean water projects in Nainokanoka Ward, which is adjacent to the ward where Judy works. Rachel learned Judy was organizing a microfinance project with WMI and asked WMI to provide business skills training to villagers in Nainokanoka Ward. When Olive and her team traveled to Tanzania to train the ladies in the WMI loan hub, they spent some extra time sharing their business skills and knowledge with the people of Nainokanoka Ward.


olive and jack tz

Olive Wolimbwa and Jackline Namonye from WMI in Buyobo, Uganda, dressed in traditional Maasai garb to train villagers of Nainokaoka Ward, Tanzania.

teaching TZ
Nainokoaka villagers listen intently during training session.




Thank you!




The WMI Board of Directors



Robyn Nietert          rgnietert@aol.com  

Betsy Gordon          betsygord@mac.com
Deborah Smith        deborahwsmith@yahoo.com
June Kyakobye        junekyaks@yahoo.com

Trix Vandervossen    bvandervossen@imf.org

Jane Erickson          ericksonjn@verizon.net
Terry Ciccotelli             terryciccotelli@gmail.com