Submitted by: Lending Promise
Posted: Apr 09, 2007 – 08:00 AM EST
Apr. 09 /CSRwire/ - SAN JOSE, CA - April 9, 2007 - Twenty poor Nepali women will soon start small businesses and more fortunate people can now sponsor some of them through Lending Promise, a non-profit organization founded last year. Lending Promise offers microcredit - tiny loans of $50-150 - and literacy and other training to poor women so they can form handicrafts, farming or other small businesses. Their resulting higher incomes change their families' lives, enabling them to pay for school for their children, more and better food and improved health care.
At the same time that the organization is giving a boost to families in poverty, Lending Promise is now offering more fortunate people the opportunity to choose among personal stories on its web site to sponsor a woman they wish to help, for a $100 donation.
"Before forming Lending Promise, I sought routes to become personally involved in microcredit," said Meg North Taylor, founder and volunteer executive director, who has financed much of the organization's work. "Many groups were processing from $5 million to $2 billion in microloans per year and didn't have practical ways to engage individual contributors like me. I wanted to make a significant impact on poor families, learn about their lives and what they look like, and maybe meet them," said Taylor, whose organization has operated on less than $5,000 to date.
The women who need sponsors include, among others, a sister who is paying for school for her brother who is recovering from a head injury; a woman who is putting her two sisters through school; a mother who was divorced against her will and wants to educate her children; a woman who is paying off her late father's medical debts while supporting her sister, brother, mother and aunt; and a mother who is a Dalit, which in Nepal is an "untouchable," without a caste. To learn more about the women, visit www.lendingpromise.org/index.php?page=Sponsor_A_Woman.
The loans and services that Lending Promise provides are to women in Nepal, the world's fifth poorest nation. Nepal is still recovering from a 10-year civil war that ended last year, resulting in an estimated 13,000 deaths and a decline in tourism, which is a major revenue source. Taylor said she hopes to expand programs to India in 2008 and to other countries in the future.
About Lending Promise
Lending Promise Inc. is a non-profit organization that gives microcredit - small loans of $50-100 - and literacy training to poor women so they can form handicrafts, farming or other businesses. The women increase their income and improve their children's futures, ultimately impacting their broader communities with higher literacy rates, improved nutrition, lower mortality rates and stronger economies. By offering loans instead of handouts, Lending Promise empowers women to be financially independent and stay that way. For information, visit www.lendingpromise.org.