Women's Micro Loans
CoH is working to overcome obstacles to self-sufficiency within the tribal community.
Our Women’s Micro-Loan program, established in 2017, is helping poor Christian families to address their own needs through the purchase of pigs, goats, and sewing machines. The earnings from these small business ventures have repaid loans, supplemented family food supplies, and provided additional income. In 2021, 86 new loans were dispensed, with an average loan value of $62 and 85% of the previous year’s loans have been repaid. Many tribal women desire to be a part of this program, but future loans are dependent on the availability of contributions.
“I purchased two pigs with my loan. From these two pigs, I got seven baby pigs, which were sold at a profit. This allowed me to repay my loan, give $13 to my church, place my son in college, and supplement my family’s food. Now, the female pig is ready to have more babies!”
~ A tribal microloan recipient
Two tribal-run Demonstration Farms were started in 2015 to model modern farming techniques, prove the economic viability of new crops in the Hills, and generate supplementary educational income. The farms grow coffee, mango, and Acacia Mangium trees and produce coffee starts for low-cost distribution to tribal farms. As the crops mature, the Demonstration Farms are expected to earn a profit.
Vocational Training Program
CoH is planning to start a Vocational Training Scholarship program in 2022. Tribal students who have dropped out of school after 7th or 8th grade need marketable skills. These students have typically been forced to leave school for lack of funds, and they must now earn a living and support their families. Training in motorcycle repair, masonry, sewing, English translation, cell phone servicing, and computers offers significant employment potential. As of Spring 2022, vocational schools are once again open in Bangladesh (after a 2-year Covid related shutdown) and we’re hoping to begin offering scholarships, if funds are received to support this effort.