We are delighted to announce that we have partnered with Berendina Microfinance Institute in Sri Lanka and we have new loans online. It has been a long wait, and the wait is over.
Berendina was originally started as a Trust named Berendina Stitching in 1987 by Mrs. Berendina Borst of Netherlands. Over time the activities grew and Berendina Microfinance Institute (BMI) was setup in 2007.
There are several reasons why we decided to choose BMI as a partner:
• BMI works directly with the borrowers rather than adopt a community based approach that is common in Sri Lanka. Thus they are able to reach the most vulnerable sections who are often neglected by the community based approach.
• BMI works in difficult areas that are further away from densely populated towns. During the floods of 2011 in Sri Lanka, in some areas they had to visit their clients by boat.
• BMI works closely with Berendina Development Services in creating livelihood opportunities, health, sanitation and other areas.
• They work with 280 private sector companies to create employment opportunities for the youth.
• BMI has also been an innovator in several areas and has pioneered interesting approaches such as ‘enterprise and technical training’ for clients who take the enterprise loan.
The launch in Sri Lanka is an important step forward. We have survived the tough microfinance crisis in India and were able to successfully return 100% of the money loaned by lenders.
We are back on our feet now and we plan to grow UnitedProsperity.org with your continued support. Let us start by lending one loan guarantee at a time.