Working towards the UN Millennium Development Goals
MDG: Eradicate extreme poverty by helping those whose income is less than $1 per day Give mothers living in trash dumps microloans to build a future.
UNFF provides microloans to the mothers of trash-dump children to start businesses, so that the families do not become dependent on our aid. The mothers have successfully used these microloans for opening small stores and for making and selling jewelry and dresses.
As of February 2015, The UNFF has facilitated the creation of 3 Self Help Groups (SHG) in the wastepicker slums of Pune, India. Each SHG is made up of 10 mothers who are wastepickers and has nominated a president and treasurer. UNFF helped the groups open bank accounts at the Bank of Maharashtra, which is a bank that caters to the needs of aid recipients receiving microloans. In order to make a withdrawal from the account, the president, treasurer and UNFF project manager must sign. Grant funds received from Dining For Women (DFW) have been wired directly into these SHG accounts, giving aid recipients a sense of ownership and responsibility in the success of the program. In the second year of the grant, two more SHGs will be created.
Each of the women in the Self Help Groups was given an initial loan of $100 over a 10 month period. The groups decided they would have to pay $110 back into the account. Before anyone could take a loan, each had to submit a business plan.
Some of the women went into tailoring while other women chose other business ideas (such as selling plants, selling jewelry, selling garlands and cutting iron). Twelve of the women took an advanced tailoring course for two months. Some of them used their loans to buy sewing machines and have now started to make an earning from the vocation.
Of the 3 SHGs, one has been very successful. Each woman in this group has already repaid her loan and will be taking a larger loan in the coming year. Women have increased their income to about 200 to 250 Rs per day ($4 US). Success has been mixed in the other two SHGs, with some still in the process of repaying their loan.
Most of the women in the SHGs still wastepick periodically to supplement their income. This is actually as we expected. It is easier to positively impact the lives of the children. however, turning the lives of the mothers around usually takes several years.
For more information about our India Chapter, please visit our India section.
In Lusaka, Zambia, the women have used the loans to open small stalls, where they sell corn meal, oil, charcoal and tomatoes. The women choose what businesses they want to start. UNFF provides the capital and basic business training workshops. Some women make and sell jewelry.
With the income generated from such ventures, some of the mothers have been successful in sending their children to school without charity aid.
For more information about our Zambia Chapter, please visit our Zambia section.