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Report on RAGM Pres. Field Trip to Honduras
Category: Microcredit | By SDR, 16-Feb-2020 | Viewed 387  Comments 0 | Source Nick Frankle


Nick Frannkle RAGM Pres 2019 - 2020

I just returned from a week visiting friends and Rotary projects in Tegucigalpa, Honduras - a city that has become my second home since my first visit in 2007.   Each visit reminds me of the many ways in which Rotarians are changing lives in Honduras with grants in each of the six areas of focus.  On this trip, accompanied by Rotarians from my district making their first international visit we visited medical projects, water projects and community economic development projects.   None of these projects would have been possible without our NGO partners.

One of the services that RAGM provides is to introduce Rotarians with projects to partners who make those projects possible. Let's take a few that are working with Rotary in Honduras in support of community economic development projects.

Opportunity International:  

Opportunity International Canada

Opportunity International Canada and Rotary International formed a partnership in 2012, known as the Honduras Economic Community Development (HECD) Program. They have an implementing partner in Honduras called Instituto para el Desarrollo Hondureo (locally known as IDH).  IDH has been empowering the entrepreneurial poor and helping them transform their lives economically, spiritually, and socially, through the provision of small loans and training since 1974. 

IDH provides microfinance services through three main methodologies:  1) Trust Groups & Solidarity Banks, who serve the poorest of the poor, 2) Individual Clients, with slightly larger loans, and 3) SMEs (small and medium enterprise) where the Clients, are known locally as "Micropyme".  Over 60% of the beneficiaries of IDH's programs are women. Women have proven themselves more likely to invest their profits in ways that directly benefit their families.  IDH enjoys a payback rate of 98%.

IDH operates 13 branch offices located throughout the 18 departments (provinces) of Honduras.  Through six HECD Phases and funding from Rotary Districts 5360, 7070, and 4250, TRF Global Grants, the Canadian and Alberta Governments  and Opportunity International Canada. In total, over 2.5 Million CDN has been invested to create and sustain small entrepreneurs in Honduras. It is noteworthy that microcredit funds are re-loaned and remain in  circulation long after the initial loans are repaid.

Foundation Uniendo America in Honduras:

Uniendo America Foundation of Honduras

Founded by the Rotary Clubs of Honduras, Foundation Uniendo America was formed to assist Rotarians facing the challenge of helping those in need through assistance programs such as microcredit to start a business or expand an existing one.  Its objective is to facilitate the active participation of low-income people in Honduras to create self-managed microenterprises that provide reliable income through the production of goods and services.  The Foundation has benefited more than 5,532 families. At present it has 180 solidarity groups made up of groups of 4 to 8 people and 105 individual credits. Credit beneficiaries are generally low-income w0men who initiate some productive activity or improve their business, allowing them to have more income to be able to improve their current living conditions and get involved in other activities to help improve their community. To promote the habit of saving money, the borrowers save 15% of the total loan amount. These savings accounts have a positive effect on the borrowers since they will have funds to cover future needs and not depend on credits from other institutions. They develop their own Community Bank that finances their own activities.

The Foundation Uniendo America in Honduras is currently a partner in a $100,000 Rotary Foundation Global Grant to support the Earth's Choice Women in Coffee Microfinance Program in Northern Honduras. The program has been a transformative solution for hundreds of low income women in the specialty coffee industry. While an important contributor to their household earnings, the coffee forests alone do not provide for a consistent year-round income. The program has been created for women who are entrepreneurial but not business savvy. The women receive the skills and experience to successfully manage a loan, with the support of a group of community members who are invested in their success.

World Vision/VisionFund

World Vision Medical Clinic

World Vision has a strong presence in Honduras and has supported Rotary medical and water projects.  Recently, VisionFund and RAGM have created a partnership to support microfinance projects in Honduras.  The partnership is designed to help communities achieve resilience, sustainability, and household wellbeing. It is focused on microfinance as a means to achieving strengthened household incomes while promoting an enabling economic environment through which a broad set of other development outcomes may be achieved.  VisionFund will not only serve as the in-country microfinance institution, it will match Rotary funds to increase the project funding and the number of people that can be reached.

Working together on Rotary Foundation Global Grants, the partnership
> Leverages Rotary and VisionFund's global network and geographic coverage
> Emphasizes Rotary's ability to mobilize clubs, funding, and expertise
> Accesses  match funding for clubs, from both Rotary and VisionFund
> Leverages VisionFund's ability to provide best-in-class loan performance, project management, and financial accountability.

These three partners in Honduras demonstrate the power of partnerships in eliminating poverty through empowering people.   If you want more information on how RAGM can help you build partnerships, contact us at:

Nick Frankle, PDG
Email: nickdg1617@earthlink.net
Cell: +1 (805) 402-6303
"If you can dream it " ,"You can do it!"

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