“Before CEPAD came, I didn’t even have this chair to sit on, “ said Carmen Acuña, patting the arm of her wooden rocker.
Now, Acuña runs a small convenience store and leads a cooperative bank for the women in her community, Cañas Blancas, and the surrounding areas. CEPAD provides credit for women so they can make investments to improve their economic circumstances. Carmen, a grandmother who is diabetic, earned enough from the store last year to get treatment for a serious illness while still helping with her family’s finances.
“No banks will lend to people in this community, CEPAD is the only one,” she said. “I am so thankful CEPAD took a chance on us, it helped keep me alive and so I could keep my family alive.”
CEPAD relies on support from partners to provide the initial funds for the loan programs in the communities. An investment of $3,500 provided the intitial capital so that 14 women in the Carazo region could drastically improve life for their families. Your gift can make that difference for women in other communities.
The loan program helps strengthen women’s opportunities in their families and communities as well, said Carolina Estrada Sandino, another one of the bank’s founders.
“A lot of times, the men don’t see women as competent to do anything but be at home,” Carolina said. “But now, my husband supports me in my business and there is more motivation to work together as a family.”
The program makes an especially big difference for the many women in rural Nicaragua who are single moms. These women often have to seek work outside the city and leave their children with relatives or neighbors. The opportunity to start a small business means women can better support their families and keep resources in the local economy.
Carmen said she thanks God every day for CEPAD and the opportunity to start her store. We at CEPAD are thankful every day for partners like you who make our work possible!