PDG John Gilvesy brought us up to date on the Honduras Micro-Finance Project.

We partnered with Opportunity International Canada and Implementing Partner Honduras (IDH) to provide small loans to local people who are unable to obtain financing from conventional sources.  This enables them to start their own small business and to support their families.  There is a 98% repayment rate by the local people and 50-60% of the loans are to women.  The size of the loans range from $200-5,000.  There are approximately 8,000 clients who receive training, help in setting goals, support for their businesses and guidance in reporting to their lenders.


Micro-finance fits well with the Rotary Foundation's 6 Areas of Focus.  Our District raised $73,500 and with Matching Funding from the Government of Canada, our District 7080 and the Rotary Foundation, this added up to a total of $320,000.  The Rotary Foundation requires regular reports to make sure the projects are proceeding properly and that there is adequate financial and operational accountability.


John reported on a recent presentation by IDH about the impact of the impact of the Covid Pandemic on their business.  The Honduras government mandated a repayment moratorium during the pandemic and this affected the liquidity of IDH.  They were able to obtain debt restructuring and lines of credit from their banks.  They also provided medical protection for customers and IDH staff.  In the period from March to May 2020, the loan activity and cash flow for IDH crashed.  IDH has worked to mitigate the impact on their staff and business.  They have reduced staff, provided food, face masks and hand sanitizer in their business sites.


Next week:  Jay Weiler will present a report on Communications for the Club.