Twenty Four loans in Goro, Niger have been paid back on time and in full. With those funds Twenty Five new loans have been made in Galbouna, Niger. With these new loans it is costing us $51.88 to change the lives of an entire family forever. They can provide food, education and medical needs. This is a one time investment for life. Other organizations want this much of a donation to feed one child for two months or to send him to school for two months. This $51.88 provides these needs indefinitely not only for the one child but for all the children in the family and the parents. If you want a huge impact for a small investment then The Gemach Project is where you should be donating. Thank you for your support.
As the founder of The Gemach Project it is easy for me to get caught up in the everyday busyness of going through applications, wiring funds, providing information to donors, etc. So as I was going through the latest group of applications from Kenancha, Kenya I started reading the comments on those requesting the loans. It reminded me of how important our work is and dire the situation that some of these people face on a daily basis. I would like to give you a sampling of those in this group of 19 widows and one man whom we have agreed to fund a group endeavor where they will buy a corn miller, install electricity and start a business. I hope it touches your heart as much as it does mine.
Boroyi: Boroyi is a man who prepares tree seedlings to sell so that he can provide for his 6 orphaned grand children. All of whom are in school. Boroyi is 90 years old.
Magere: Magere is a 52 year old widow. She is taking care of her 7 children plus 4 orphans. She sells tomatoes and kale that she grows. Magere hopes to build a shade covering to protect her and her product from the sun while selling her vegetables.
Mogendi: Mogendi sells milk to provide for the four orphans that she takes care of and who are all in school. Mogendi is 80 years old.
Pauline: Pauline sells vegetables to provide for her 8 orphaned grand children. Pauline is 86 years old.
Prysca: Prysca sells milk in the mornings and evening to provide for her 6 children and 6 orphaned grand children who are all in school. Prysca is 65 years old.
Robi: Robi is taking care of her 4 orphaned grand children by selling milk and bananas. Robi is 75 years old.
This is who we help. Those that are so mired down in poverty there is no way out. No bank or micro-lending organization will touch them. There are no government handouts for these people. They are completely on their own and without hope. This is who we help. Please help us to help them.
I just returned from a trip to Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The purpose of this trip was to determine the success rate of pilot projects in these countries and to determine possible new project sites. I would like to share what I found with our supporters.
Kenya – All projects in Kenya are progressing very well. I was greatly encouraged by the pastor in charge of the new project in Banana Hills. After one month of start-up the loan recipients are already paying back the loans. Projects in Ahero and the Kuria area are going very well with expansion probable.
Ethiopia – Start-up appears to be going well. This project had just begun so it is still in the evaluation stage.
Uganda – Uganda appears to be the area where we are having the most difficulties. We started with a few loans in Idudu and a few through a pastor in Kampala. Both are having difficulties but they are still confident that they can turn it around and that the loans will be paid back. Until this happens further expansion is not probable. We also have loans through an unwed mothers home in Kampala. Repayment on those loans have been running about 60%. Obviously not at the level that we would like to see. They have confidence that this rate will rise and until such time as this occurs further expansion is not probable. The one place that the loans appear to be doing well in Uganda is in Rugarama in the south, and further expansion is probable.
Rwanda – We have found an excellent partner in Rwanda who is running a vocational school in Kigali. They charge for this training but give scholarships to the very poor who can not pay. We are hoping to give loans to those that are poor after their training, as a part of their scholarship. This will not start however until 2015.
Burundi – Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world and I am excited about two possibilities there. The first is through an orphanage. They are going to give vocational training to those that are old enough to leave the orphanage and who can not go to the university. We will come along side them to give a loan so that they can purchase the necessary equipment or tools to start their business. The second opportunity in Burundi is through a man whom they call the ‘”Cow Man”. People is Burundi raise a long horned cow which has a very small milk yield. This type of cow is a status symbol though not really of much legitimate use other than meat. The Cow Man is purchasing high yielding milk cows in Tanzania and then giving them to poor families. He takes enough milk in return to pay for the cow with no interest. Families can make $100 a month profit from this cow, in a country where most make less than $1 a day. We have agreed to partner with the Cow Man so that he can provide more of these cows to the needy.
Thank you all for your continued support and please pray for all of these projects to ultimately succeed.
Last year Life Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia asked us to partner with them to help widows in Ethiopia. Life Center is a non-profit run by the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia’s wife. We are pleased to announce that today we funded our first loans in Ethiopia, our ninth country. These loans have been made to fifteen widows and one woman who is caring for her mentally ill husband. We thank God for opening the doors to enable us to do this work. We thank him for the partners he has given us and the hearts he has touched to provide the funds. Please pray for the success of these fledgling businesses, for the work of Life Center and for a blessing on our donors.
A quick overview of what we were able to accomplish through God’s help and your contributions this past year.
352 new loans were made in 5 countries.
358 old loans were paid back at 100% in 7 countries and re-lent to new recipients.
A total of 1,631 loans have been made to date.
$48,951 was given out in new funds in 2013 as new loans.
Thanks to those that answered our call for help with funding last month The Gemach Project has made 35 new loans in the village of Koulbou, Niger. Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world and last year The World Health Organization named Niger the worst place in the world to try to raise a child. These loans will help not just 35 people but 35 families in small villages. Thanks again for your help and thanks to God for his continued blessing.
We have been blessed to be able to make 15 new loans in the village of Sirimbana, Niger. Thanks to all those that have helped make this happen. Please pray for those receiving the loans that their businesses may prosper.
I know a lot of you no longer use your small cameras opting for your I Phones. We need those old cameras. Many places that we give loans have no way to take photos of those that will receive the loans which is one of our requirements before they are funded. If you have some of the small Sony or Canon type cameras please donate those so we can distribute them in Africa. Don’t forget the batteries, chargers and cables. A reminder these donations are tax deductible. We could also use any old hand held GPS units or old unlocked phones.
We have two days to meet our pledge to match up to $20,000 that we raise by Jan. 1. Thanks to two generous donations we are now only $5035 short with two days to go. If you feel God urging you to donate please go to our web site www.thegemachproject.org where you still have time to donate using Pay Pal. We know that whatever we receive will be exactly what we need and what God wants us to have. Thank You to all of you who have supported us throughout the year. 2014 will be a big year for growth for us and it seems God is steering us into helping more and more widows. Thanks again for all of your support and mostly for your prayers. Please continue to pray for all of the poor in the world, all who have received loans that their businesses may prosper, all waiting for loans that the Lord will provide and for The Gemach Project to put God’s desires ahead of our’s and to always follow Him.
The Gemach Project wishes to extend to all of our friends throughout the world a Merry Christmas. As we have seen God use The Gemach Project to meet the daily physical needs of thousands let us celebrate the day that God met all mankind’s Spiritual needs once and forever.