Giving For Living (GFL) Micro Credit Program
Bank for the Poor
The idea of “bank for the poor” started in Bangladesh, a very poor country, by Dr. Muhammad Yunus who recently wan the Noble Prize award for Peace.
The bank that Dr. Yunus started in early 1970, “Grameen bank” is now a large bank with more then $300 Million Dollar in loans and more then 12,000 employees.
Subsequently many organizations copied Mr. Yunus’s Micro Credit concept to help the poor people in their own countries.
Today, Banking for the Poor program exists in many countries such as India, Peru, Mexico, Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam with over 90 percent of the borrowers world Wide are women.
GFL Bank provides credit to the poorest people in rural Nicaragua, without any collateral
GFL Bank considers making Micro Loans to be a cost effective weapon to fight poverty. Micro Credit positive impact on the poor has been documented in many independent studies carried out by external agencies including the World Bank, the International Food Research Policy Institute (IFPRI) and the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).
The underlying premise of GFL Micro Loans Program is that, in order to emerge from extreme poverty, the very poor need access to credit, without which they cannot be expected to launch their own enterprises and improving their lives.
The assumption is that if individual borrowers are given access to credit, they will be able to identify and engage in viable income-generating businesses.
Such businesses could be a vegetable or food stand at the market, making and selling sweet door to door, buying clothes by bulk from the capital Managua and selling them in their own villages, making hammocks, basket weaving, buying a cow producing milk, starting a chicken farm, etc…or any type of business that will raise their status, lessen their dependency on their husbands and improve their homes and the nutritional standards of their children.
The income GFL Bank generated is used on other community projects such as building clinics, Biblioteca, bringing running water and electricity to villages, in addition to creating jobs.
Presently GFL Bank has branches in Rivas, Cardenas, and La Salinas. The average loan amount ranges from $50 to $350, small, but sufficient to finance the micro-projects undertaken by borrowers. The bank will lend to men but mainly focuses on women.
GFL Bank adopts a progressive attitude as it recognizes that development is a long-term process. Makes sure that the credit system serves the poor, and not vice-versa. Restrict credit to income-generating production operations, freely selected by the borrower to make it possible for the borrower to be able to repay the loan. Invest in human resources; training leaders will provide them with real development ethics based, and respect for the rural people and environment.
Our Bank Managers spend their time traveling from village to village often on bicycles collecting loan payment and signing new loans. It is not traditional banking with big offices and salaries but people who cares about making a difference, and are very proud with the changes they make in peoples lives.