The microloan program in Desab was initiated in December 2016 modeled after the People Helping People organization's program in Nicaragua. Groups of four are selected and leader chosen who is tasked with ensuring the group's success. Continuation to another loan is dependent on repayment by all group members. Monthly meetings are held and open to the community for information and basic business/entrepreneurial education. Members also hold regular meetings for support, education and mentoring. Loans are interest-free. All repayments remain within the program.
Currently Fenel Jean coordinates, mentors and educates with the eventual goal to move towards a cooperative model. With additional funding this program will gradually expand, to a manageable number of groups, and to a maximum loan of $250.
The first group of women received $50 each. All four successfully repaid and received the next loan of $100. Another group of four women was chosen. Each received a $50 loan.
Two of the first four women now have a business selling food at the school and clinic, and two sell goods from their homes high in the mountains.