Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An example from the Philippines

The money raised from this project will go towards the businesses of 15 to 30 individuals, mostly women in the Philippines. They receive loans which, once paid back, are recycled back into loans for future microfinance projects with Women's Opportunity (Opportunity International Australia.)
Calma is one such woman from the Philippines who received a loan through Women's Opportunity - Here is her story courtesy of Women's Opportunity.

"A passion for mushrooms may not be exactly common, but for Calma Arcala, this little vegetable is anything but humble. Years ago, Calma worked long hours as a laboratory assistant in the Philippines, often doing unpaid overtime day after day. As she worked into the night, Calma, who grew up in a family of farmers, would dream about returning to the land and planting her own crops to market in her community. With a degree in horticulture, she knew she had the ability to start a successful business – what she lacked was the money to begin.

The turning point for Calma came in the form a small loan from TSPI, one of Opportunity International Australia’s microfinance partners in the Philippines. With the loan, Calma was able to plant her own mushroom farm and begin the dream she had waited so long for. As she worked, the farm flourished, and Calma had to employ an extra worker to keep up with the harvest. Today, Calma’s farm employs five people from her community, and is looking to employ two more. More passionate about mushrooms than ever, Calma hopes that one day the five-star restaurants of the world will use her produce in their dishes."