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11/20/2012 10:35:00 AM
Wayne Rish explains microcredit to Winslow Rotary
Wayne Rish explains microcredit to Winslow Rotary members during a meeting last week. Photo/Todd Roth
Wayne Rish explains microcredit to Winslow Rotary members during a meeting last week. Photo/Todd Roth
Todd Roth
NHO

Wayne Rish, a guest speaker from Fountain Hills, explained Rotary's Microcredit program at last week's Winslow Rotary meeting. The program helps the poor in Nogales, Mexico improve fledging businesses.

According to Rish, Microcredit is among the most successful money investing programs eradicating poverty all over the world. A Microcredit lending project in Nogales is co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Fountain Hills (D5510) as international partner along with the Rotary Club of Nogales, Mexico (D4100) as host partner.

This matching grant project makes small business loans available to the poorest people in the poorest section of Nogales. The small business loans provide capital to individuals to grow their own small business. Borrowers are organized into borrowing groups of four to 12 individuals. They all co-sign a group promissory note pledging repayment of all the individual loans during each four-month loan cycle. When all loans are repaid, new loans are made available. Rish said rates of small business success and loan repayment are 97-98 percent. Consequently, money contributed is loaned again and again for decades.

Rotary Clubs are working with EnComun de la Frontera (EnComun), a specialized microcredit institution in Nogales, to screen applicants, provide training, establish borrowing groups, disburse and collect funds and assist clients. EnComun has been operating in Nogales since 2004. They have served over 5000 clients, have loaned more than $5 million and have successfully collected 95% of all loans.

Rish said the small loans, which range between $200 and $1200, produce dramatic economic and social results. Successful borrowers, mostly women, report that their children attend school full time, their family eats healthy meals on a regularly basis, home living conditions are improving and enough cash is available to allow them to escape the day to day uncertainty of their former lives.

Many families report the success of their small business actually keeps their family together. Husbands or sons do not have to cross illegally into the U.S. seeking work, or can return to work in the business in Mexico.

The Winslow Rotary Club accepts tax deductible donations to the club's 501 (c)(3) nonprofit account that the club invests in this Nogales Microcredit project.

Winslow Rotary Club actively purses bringing Microcredit and other Rotary programs to the Navajo and Hopi Reservations.


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