Pattaya Daily News

04 August 2009 :: 13:08:46 pm 23450

Innovative Micro-Finance Project Helps Empower Women In Laos

Vientiane, Laos ? July 27th: The Social and Economic Developers Association (SEDA) launched an innovative new micro-credit scheme aimed at some of the poorest women in the Vientiane province. Thirty women have signed up to receive small loans and business training to enable them to start their own businesses and generate sustainable income ? empowering them to end poverty.
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The Vientiane micro-credit program launched in July. It provides loans of between $50 to $175 per person, to women with no income and single women in financial difficulties. The women are then provided with free training on business planning, marketing, sales and financial planning. The women are using the money to buy materials that they can recycle to spin cotton, which they can then sell at a small profit. The loans are repaid at a small rate of interest, in amounts the women agree they can afford. It is hoped that the business will generate additional income of $300 a month for each woman in the program.

With little or no education and a family to support, many women in Laos struggle to feed their children and keep a roof over their heads. Often they find themselves alone after their husbands have left or died, without money to send their children to school or make a better life for themselves.

SEDA is using microfinance and business development to empower women; enabling them to generate income, utilize their natural resources in an environmentally sound manner and create lasting financial independence. The SEDA scheme has been modeled on the Grameen Bank, which has had tremendous success with microfinance in Bangladesh.

SEDA continues to raise funds for the scheme, with the help of charity partner, Global Giving (www.globalgiving.com). SEDA aims to raise $50,000 to expand the program to include more women throughout Lao PDR. For information http://seda-laos.org or contact info@seda-laos.org Information about SEDA-Laos

The Social and Economic Developers Association (SEDA) was created to bring sustainable economic and social change to the disadvantaged people of Laos. SEDA is a non-profit, non-government, Laos-based organization, dedicated to improving education and health, and providing economic opportunities for a long-term solution to poverty – and a brighter future for the Lao PDR.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Announcement News

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