- Successfully piloted and grew microfinance and micro-irrigation program into significant portion of foundation investment and portfolio
- Grew partnerships with three MFI organizations
- Initiated and faciliated a yearly microfinance conference for all A Glimmer of Hope Foundation MFI partners to share best practices, learn from each other, and learn more about their operating environment to become a better partner.
At the half way point of its three year commitment of $1 million for Income Creation programs in rural Ethiopia, A Glimmer of Hope has invested $850,000 in eight micro-finance, micro-irrigation and micro-enterprise programs. This includes $200,000 invested by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, as well as $200,000 by prominent philanthropists Ted and Vada Stanley (part of the Stanleys' 2008 CGI Commitment).
A Glimmer of Hope has made non-refundable capital grants to three Ethiopian micro-finance institutions (MFIs) which in turn are making small loans to borrowers in three regions within Ethiopia. In addition, Revolving Funds have been established so that when the initial loans are repaid, the funds will be made available again for further loans to additional borrowers.
Based on the current agreements, loans will be made to 1,905 borrowers in the first cycle, and will reach a total 3,492 borrowers by way of the Revolving Funds during the three year cycle. Project periods range between one and three years, loans range between $100 and $500 and the interest rate is usually around 12%.
- Met with the first beneficiaries of the commitment in Ethiopia, a group of 31 women whose $14,000 loan enabled them to build a structure in which to prepare food goods to sell at market. After only one month, they had negotiated a deal with the local university and were selling a majority of their goods for its dining services. The women were each taking a salary to support their family and had collectively begun to pay back their loan.
- Established an expanded program for 2007 which will result in a $250,000 investment in multiple affordable irrigation/income creation programs.
- Embarked upon a 3-way partnership dealing with microcredit and microirrigation with DECSI, a microfinance organization, and REST to provide loans and training/construction services to 175 households and directly impact over 1,000 rural Ethiopians.
- Negotiated a $50,000 agreement with DECSI to finance 242 marginalized Ethiopian women in their efforts to establish their own small businesses and trades over the next three years.
- Working closely with two groups in Northern Ethiopia and in the process of finalizing two agreements that will provide small loans for the poverty-stricken people of this area.
- Agriculture: Reached agreement on a three-way partnership dealing with microcredit and microirrigation. To provide loans and services to 175 households and directly impact over 1,000 rural Ethiopians in 2007.
- Enterprise: Negotiated a $50,000 agreement to finance 242 marginalized women over the next 3 years to help them establish their own small businesses and trades.
September - December 2006
- Visited and worked with International Development (IDE) headquarters in Denver, CO, in December 2006. The visit resulted in a $40,000 grant from AGOH to IDE for working capital, press and media work, and in support of the management.
- Traveled to Ethiopia to evaluate AGOH's pilot irrigation projects, implemented in partnership with REST, a large NGO who specializes in agriculture and irrigation. The irrigation projects have been recognized as an outstanding success, and participating farmers report that their fields are yielding three times more crops per annum than in previous years. As a result of its success, the local Tigray government has applied for EU funding to replicate the AGOH-REST affordable irrigation projects 300 times over.
- Reviewing an expanded program for 2007 which will result in a $200,000 investment in multiple affordable irrigation/income creation programs with REST in Tigray. The project will benefit 175 households and around 1,000 people and will also be measured in terms of the income created.