Sunday, 8 March 2009

International Women's Day: a story from Peru

Photo from Grameen

The only way Alejandrina Flores could manage to feed her six children was to do without herself.  She had lost her job because illness meant she had too many days off work, and then her husband left her.

She attempted to set up a business for herself, making dolls, characters from Peruvian culture, but couldn't earn enough to put food on the table.  Then she heard about a micro-finance organisation, Pro Mujer, which not only gave small loans but coaching for starting or expanding a business.  She joined up, received the training and drafted a business plan.  She was given a loan to buy the materials she needed.

Now her earnings have almost tripled she can support her family.  One day she hopes to have her own store.

Women are outstanding poverty-fighters in the world of micro-finance.  When a woman receives a small loan to start a business, she is more likely to invest the business profits to better her children’s nutrition, health, and education.


  1. This microfinance business is marvellous.

    I hope this post means that you are feeling better.

  2. This is a wonderful post. Happy Women's day to you!!


  3. What a fabulous story! Thank you so much for sharing it - and Happy International Women's Day!

  4. Another micro-loan success story.

  5. What would be a better think to do than to empower another with the knowledge, or in this case finance, to fish. Not only will the person be able to feed himself or herself for life, that person can bring forth numerous benefits to those around him or her.

  6. I'm humbled when I read stories dealing with the power of women in poverty.

    In Bangkok I'm surrounded by the rich and the poor. And often it feels like the street poor are enriching me with their cheerful outlook on life.

  7. I agree with Catherine, I realize how privileged I am when I read about these women's fate...and I'm humbled too because they are much stronger than my academic degrees.

  8. What a marvelous program. Just shows what can happen when we build up the person, showing confidence in individual abilities. Thank you for the story.

  9. @Elaine, there are so many great stories. As for being better, no, not entirely, but I need to keep my mind off it.

    @Jackie, thank you. :)

    @Lydian, hello and welcome, and thanks too!

    @Max, yes there are a lot of great stories of this type.

    @BK, yes, you're right, help them to feed themselves. There are some excellent schemes.

    @Catherine, welcome! There are so many really strong women who are coping cheerfully in circumstances that we wouldn't want to share.

    @Mar, very true, their strength can't be taught at school.

    @Sharon, a welcome to you too. :) Some support, a little pump-priming, and anything can happen.

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