Empowering Women Through Microfinance – WOV Baltimore & Betty Flores
Women make up half the world’s population, but often are not given the opportunity to support their families and are underrepresented economically in the market place. Although women perform the majority of the world’s work, they only control 1% of the world’s assets.
World Vision’s Micro program is working to change that by providing Microcredit to entrepreneurs (predominantly women). Well over half (approximately 68%) of World Visions Microcredit goes to women. Microcredit extended to women has a significant impact on the quality of life their children experience and often elevates their status. There are reports of declining levels of violence against women who have access to Microfinance, as a result of their improved status. Microfinance is an exciting development tool as it offers the potential for a self-propelling cycle of sustainability and growth.
Women of Vision’s Baltimore Chapter believes in that sustainability model both in thought and deed, and have been working hard to provide women in the Philippines with loans.
Meet Betty Flores, a hard working entrepreneur the Baltimore Chapter funded. Betty lives in Bais Negros Oriental and dreamed of improving her home and expanding her small farm. She has three children to support and educate with her small business income.
The Baltimore chapter was able to make that dream a reality for Betty. With the loan, she is now able to continue farming, and has seen growth in her business.
Beth Happick, Chair for Women of Vision (WOV) Baltimore, says it has been a blessing to come together and make a positive impact in the life of Betty and her family. They have felt God continually move in their efforts; bringing new partners to walk alongside the chapter in their fundraising efforts. In fact, the Baltimore WOV Chapter was able to bless the lives of two women with this contribution. Betty received the loan in honor of Anne Grizzle, a guest speaker at one of the Baltimore chapter’s recent events. The chapter wanted to give a gift that their speaker would really appreciate. Anne was genuinely touched by the gift!
Even more exciting is the fact that Betty Flores’s loan has been 100% repaid. That means that the money that the Baltimore chapter contributed will also help another entrepreneur as the gift will recycle itself!
The Baltimore chapter hopes to continue to fund more loans, focusing on women in the Philippines. Beth says, “Empowering women who want to improve their lives and meet the needs of their families is such an excellent way to give a gift in “our world”!”
Are you interested in getting involved with the efforts to empower women through Microfinance? You can participate with WOV Baltimore’s Microcredit efforts at World Vision Micro, and support them through prayer. Please feel free to share your thoughts, prayers, or more ideas on how to be creative with your Microfinance efforts (like The Baltimore Chapter did by using it as a gift) in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!