SPEAKER

 
Terry Lubsen is the chair of the Rotary Global Grants in the State of Sonora program.  All three AZ districts participate in this program.  Terry reports regularly on progress in the District newsletters.
Thirty to forty per cent of people in Sonora live at the poverty level. The microcredit program is one of the most successful poverty reduction programs available worldwide.  Rotary global grants and donations from individuals and clubs  provide the working capital.  A local Mexican bank (FinReg S.A.) then makes small business loans from the invested capital. The typical first loan is for $400-$600 but this may increase in later cycles to $1,500.  Borrowers are organized into borrowing groups of 4-12 people that are collectively responsible for seeing that individuals pay off their loans.  Ninety per cent of the borrowers are women.  Some small businesses that have been started include a taco stand, an empanada making shop, a costume jewelry maker and a dress maker.  So far, there have been 855 Mexican borrowers helped by this program.  Some of the positive results from having more family income are kids go to school, families eat healthier meals, living conditions are improved and financial anxiety is lessened.  The beauty of this system is that the initially-loaned money returns and can be loaned out again.  In 10 years since 2007, FinReg has loaned over $150,000,000 pesos and has successfully collected 97-98% of the loans made. 
If you would like to help by making a donation, email Terry at MexicoMicrocredit@gmail.com or call him at 480-699-9649.  Contributions get Paul Harris credit.  Groups of 10 people can take donor tours to see the micro credit loans in action.