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Investing in women means investing in future generations

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by Gail DeGiulio, chief capital resource officer, Global Partnerships

Crowding together, we squeezed inside of Michaela’s stall. Colorful hand-woven purses hung from wall to wall. Michaela, 52, and a mother of eight, beamed with pride as she spoke about the business she built against all odds.

As the oldest of five children, Michaela never attended school. She was responsible for caring for her younger siblings. She also worked at her family’s weaving business. This is a typical childhood for women in rural Guatemala. For Michaela, she was determined as a mother to change that for her children. She wanted to provide them with better opportunities than she had growing up.

Thirteen years ago, Michaela took out her first loan from Friendship Bridge (FB), a Global Partnerships partner in Guatemala. With her loan, she bought materials to start her own textile business. Through FB, Michaela also received education on budgeting, finance, saving, women’s health, and the importance of women’s education. This combination of loans and education empowered Michaela to succeed. Through the years and multiple loan cycles, Michaela has grown her business to include two stores that sell high- quality textiles that appeal to both local customers and tourists visiting Lake Atitlan. Most importantly to Michaela, she has been able to send all of her children to school.

Approximately 60 percent of the clients Global Partnerships’ partners serve are women, and many of them are mothers like Michaela. They are determined to help their families succeed. When you consider the risks, challenges and hardship they must overcome, you realize how this kind of resolve is nothing short of amazing and awe-inspiring. So in honor of Mother’s Day, we applaud mothers like Michaela that are making a difference in their children and their family’s lives. Stories like her's fuel our commitment to investing in partner organizations that empower women and mothers with the resources and education they need to transform generations to come.

Blog Tags: Friendship Bridge   Guatemala   Latin America   microfinance   women's empowerment   

Michaela stands in her textiles store.
Michaela (second from left) stands inside her textile store with one of her daughters (right) and grandchildren. Marta, Friendship Bridge's communications coordinator, is pictured on the left. Photo © Global Partnerships.

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