Archives For MFI

Carrole Moussengue

2020 was the most challenging year in HOPE International’s 23-year history. Although we felt the strain of the pandemic on HOPE’s operations, the hardest part was witnessing many of the men and women we serve endure illness, loss of life, overwhelmed health care systems, shortages, halted businesses, and falling income.

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) across the HOPE network rallied to assist struggling entrepreneurs, but with markets closed and commerce grinding to a halt, the outlook was grim for both MFIs and those we serve. We began to see a chain reaction play out across our network’s operations:

COVID-19 hits, mandated lockdowns instated, businesses close and/or sales decrease, household income lost, loan repayments missed

But today, we’re excited to report that we’re seeing encouraging signs of recovery in HOPE-network microfinance institutions. We celebrate these because they indicate not only that our operations are returning to health but—even more importantly—that the families we serve are seeing their lives stabilize. Thanks be to God! Continue Reading…

Serghei with quails

Although the soldiers guarding the Moldovan city of Stefan Voda were effectively crushing 26-year-old Serghei Rusu’s business, he knew they hadn’t asked for the difficult job of limiting the coronavirus’s spread. What may have been best for public health certainly wasn’t best for his business, but Serghei found a way to live out Jesus’ commands, blessing those he might have seen as enemies. Continue Reading…

As we approach the town of Kamenka (KAH-men-kuh) on a busy two-lane road, we pass dozens of trucks going the other way carrying fruits and vegetables. Some of these trucks are transporting produce to local and regional markets in surrounding cities like Zaporozhye, but there are larger refrigerated trucks that are traveling as far away as Kyiv and Moscow.

I’m traveling with Andre Barkov, the managing director of HOPE’s microfinance institution in Ukraine, and Natasha Kurilenko, the director of marketing for HOPE Ukraine. We are traveling to Kamenka to visit our local branch, witness the greenhouse economy that has developed, and understand the ways that HOPE Ukraine’s loans are providing a catalyst for economic development in the region.    Continue Reading…

Each year, HOPE celebrates a client who demonstrates HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity with the Thurman Award. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO and his wife, the Thurman celebrates clients who have not only experienced change in their own lives but have also extended that transformation to others in their community. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be posting the stories of this year’s winner and four honorable mentions to the blog. Today we celebrate Antoinette Aisha Uwimana, honorable mention from Rwanda. Antoinette Aisha Uwimana of Musanze, Rwanda, wakes every morning to the responsibility of supporting 10 people—among them three orphans and her widowed sister—and to do so, she runs not one business but three. The proud owner of a retail store, dry cleaner, and bridal clothes and wedding decoration rental store, Antoinette models entrepreneurship and determination, having built her business from a small, home-based operation selling tomato sauce. She recalls how she got her start traveling across the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo to buy two bags of tomato sauce at a time—all she could afford with her limited capital. Continue Reading...