- Semillas de Bendicion (Seeds of Blessings), Tarija, Bolivia
- Anglican Diocese of Bolivia
- Association of Evangelical Churches of Tarija
Program Type and Services:
- Christian Microfinance Institution: “Savings-Led” with Group Savings and Guarantee
This project currently uses the simple savings and Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCA) models, but plans are in place to develop these into Accumulated Savings and Credit Associations (ASCAs) in order to provide group members with the ability to save and borrow more flexibly.
- Budgeting and saving in the household
- Business ideas, planning, marketing, price setting
- Christian discipleship and values in business
- Preventative health, appropriate technology where there are no basic services, nutrition classes
The Department of Tarija is located in the Southeastern part of Bolivia and borders Argentina to the south and Paraguay to the east. The Department is divided into six provinces, and home to 20 different indigenous tribes with Spanish being the shared language. The city of Tarija is located in a high and dry mountain valley at an altitude of 1850 meters. About 60% of the people in Bolivia live in poverty, 25% of the population is malnourished, and 16% of the population lives on less than $1.25 per day (World Bank).
Women in these communities are primarily engaged in work on family farms, with limited access to financial, health or education services. The average number of years of schooling for rural women is only 2.5 years, while it is 4.7 years for men. Seasonal migration among the men is very high in some regions of the country, which leaves women, in many of the cases, as heads of the household.
Empowering the citizens of Tarija with business and personal finance skills are essential aspects of stimulating economic growth and improving unemployment. This partnership focuses on women’s groups in the city of Tarija as well as groups in rural communities, including El Puente, Entre Rios, Calamuchita and Valle Concepción. These groups target those populations unable to access services from the limited microfinance industry in Tarija due to geographic or economic barriers.
Through this program, Five Talents expects clients to gain business skills as well as the habits of saving and borrowing, which will enable them to participate in enterprise development.
After operating informally for 2.5 years, Semillas de Bendicion was officially registered in 2012 as an association, the simplest organization under Bolivian law.
The project leaders need training in the establishment of ASCAs, improvement of their English-language abilities and training on the legal process of establishing a small business as well as price fixing. Five Talents has already reached its goal to expand total outreach in Bolivia to 170 group members by the end of 2012.
We'd appreciate your continued prayers for this small but transformative program. Please help us expand our work in Bolivia either by making a one-time donation or by signing up to "Walk with Us" as a recurring donor. A monthly gift of $10 will transform up to five lives.
Are you on Facebook? Become an online advocate for Five Talents! Our online "flash drive" has everything you need to promote the work and mission of Five Talents.
Updated December 2012