Our Progress in the Dominican Republic
July 1, 2022
We are thrilled to announce that Wisconsin Microfinance’s microloan program in the Dominican Republic has been officially started in La Piedra! Applicants for our loans have been selected and received their first loan in June, providing opportunities to hard-working entrepreneurs who have never had access to resources before. We are so excited to mark the beginning of a new program, and will need new donors and additional donations to grow the program in La Piedra.
Wisconsin Microfinance provided $5,000 for the first round of loans, which is the equivalent of 272,000 Dominican pesos. Each first round loan is 11,000 Dominican pesos, and monthly payments from our partners are about 1,950 Dominican pesos. None of the recipients in the DR have ever before been granted a loan, simply because this capital is not readily available in an under-resourced community. The loans we’ve provided in the DR have a modest 1%/month interest rate; Wisconsin Microfinance capital is not only accessible for the people in this community, but is loaned out at very favorable terms.
The loans have been dispersed among 24 loan recipients, made up of 20 women and 4 men divided into 4 separate support groups. These groupings increase accountability for repayments; if one person in the group doesn’t pay off their first-round loan, nobody else in the group can access a second round loan. This pushes recipients to not only pay their own monthly installments, but to assist fellow group members when they struggle. For 24 people who have never before received a loan, their responsibility to other group members is a key part of the process, and increases the likelihood that loans will be paid back.
To disburse the loan money in the DR, Wisconsin Microfinance has partnered with Fundacion Centro Cultural Guanin. This foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission of helping community members discover, develop, and achieve their full potential as adults, citizens, and leaders. In addition to managing our loan program, Funcacion Guanin runs programs for children and adolescents, setting a standard that can be replicated throughout impoverished global communities.
Fundacion Guanin also provides medical services to nearly 5,000 local residents and welcomes medical missions from the US and other countries. The organization continues to grow and develop with the community, recently announcing plans for a dental clinic, a sports/activities center, and an urban development plan by 2025.
We are extremely proud to be connected with such a key pillar of Dominican development, and we’re excited to see how Wisconsin Microfinance’s microloan program can impact this community even more!