Brenda has been a client with the Adelante Foundation for nearly four years, receiving her first loan for $53.00 in order to invest in a small business selling clothes. Over eight loan cycles, Brenda’s improved income has ensured an education for her daughter and supported better health and nutrition for the entire family. However, Brenda and her husband have long wanted to renovate their home, a one room house with bamboo walls and an aging zinc roof. The bamboo walls are especially problematic since rain water enters the home easily, soaking their bed and belongings. The couple has only been able to save enough money to replace one small wall section with concrete laminates. Unable to receive a loan from a bank, they would have expected to improve their home over the coming years little by little.
In September 2011, Brenda and her husband were granted a loan from the Adelante Foundation for $684.00 so they could enhance their living conditions. The launch of this new low-interest loan product targeted at home improvements is one of our greatest achievements in 2011. From August to November, $15,730 has been disbursed to 22 clients throughout Honduras. Housing loans are available to AA clients like Brenda, who have an excellent repayment record and stellar assembly meeting attendance. Clients who are eligible must also demonstrate that they have a visible need for improvements to their homes or business spaces. The decision to offer this type of loan product stemmed from the realization that clients often use capital that could be invested in their small businesses to renovate their homes. It is also apparent that it takes the rural poor years to save income in order to carry out construction projects.
With the loan awarded from the Adelante Foundation, Brenda and her husband replaced the bamboo walls with concrete laminates, which was the most critical renovation, Brenda reveals, ¨My daughter is really happy, now the bed does not get wet at night when it rains!¨ In addition, the old zinc roofing was changed and the floors were finished with cement. Brenda and her husband are very satisfied, Brenda confirms, ¨I am thankful for the opportunity and I am going to keep working hard so I do not have problems making loan payments¨.
Another woman who has benefited from the launch of the Home Improvement Loan Product is Delia, who withdrew her first microloan from the Adelante Foundation for only $26.00 over seven years ago. Over the course of her loan cycles, Delia has invested in selling a variety of different products, including breads, desserts, pastries, and vegetables. Two years ago, Delia received her first Individual Loan Product, which she used to start a convenience store, and is currently paying off her second Individual Loan for $1210.00. At the time, the store was a good investment, but since a small supermarket recently opened in her community, sales have plummeted. Delia decided she would rather invest in a small restaurant, so she began saving income in order to build a new space adjacent to her home. With three daughters to support in primary and secondary school, Delia feared that saving the income to achieve her goal would take years. Fortunately, Delia’s AA status with the Adelante Foundation made her eligible for a Home Improvement Loan. Delia received a loan for $1053.00, which allowed her to build a space for her restaurant venture and ensure the continued improvement of her family’s quality of life.
The stories of Delia and Brenda are just two inspiring examples of how Home Improvement Loans contribute to an improved quality of life for our clients. While Brenda’s loan directly enhanced her family’s living conditions, Delia’s enabled her to start another small business after her original store took a big plunge in sales. These two women have demonstrated their hard-work and diligence at growing their micro businesses, which is what made them eligible for this new loan product. The demand from our clients for Home Improvement Loans is high at each of our five branch offices, and we hope that in 2012 we can award low-interest housing loans to more rural woman in Honduras.