Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Karen Larson, President and CEO of Friendship Bridge, gave us an informative presentation on empowering women in Guatemala. Recognizing the importance of access to capital and the role it plays in empowering individuals, Friendship Bridge provides microfinance, education and health services primarily to indigenous women in rural areas where the rate of poverty in Guatemala is highest. On average, a Friendship Bridge client earns less than $2 a day and has had approximately three years of formal education. The Microcredit Plus program allows for more dependable cash flow, improved nutrition, and increased educational opportunities for clients’ children.
Ms. Larson talked about Friendship Bridge’s Microcredit Plusprogram, including the organization’s health services and new Artisan Market Access program. Through this program, artisan clients – many whom are isolated by language and geography – are delivered advanced training to learn business skills to thrive in a modern global marketplace.
Guatemalan handcrafts (“Tipica”) made by Friendship Bridge clients were available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting WIL.