Thursday, June 3, 2010

Meet Kiva's Newest Partner in Honduras!

We are very proud to announce that last week our newest partner in Honduras, Familia y Medio Ambiente - FAMA OPDF posted their first loans to Kiva. FAMA is our second Honduran partner to come online and will give us further reach in financing the activities of the working poor in Honduras.

FAMA is headquartered in Juticalpa, Olancho and operates 12 other branches throughout Honduras, serving over 12,500 clients. Juticalpa is a small rural city with a population of ~100,000. It is the capital of the department of Olancho, Honduras’ largest department, and serves as the commercial center for much of Olancho's ranching and agricultural economy. Despite its size, Olancho’s total population is only 500,000. The department is rarely visited by tourists and is known for its forested mountain ranges and fertile agricultural plains. It is often referred to as the Wild West of Honduras.

In the 1980s Freedom from Hunger went to the Olancho region of Honduras to set-up a health, nutrition & housing program. As a result, farmers in the area started to increase their production and sell part of their stock. To encourage this economic activity, the first microfinance program was created. However in 1990, Freedom from Hunger left and FAMA was set-up to pursue Freedom from Hunger’s work. It began as an unregulated NGO involved in social & health projects. In 2000, the Honduran government created a regulatory status for NGOs working in microfinance called OPDF (Private Organization for Financial Development), and FAMA separated into two different entities: FAMA OPD (Private Organization for Development) which is still actively involved in social & woman rights projects and FAMA OPDF specialized in microfinance activities.

FAMA plans to use Kiva funding to give more agricultural loans. Since this is a riskier loan product, other funders in microfinance will not provide capital for it, so Kiva will really help them provide loans that they otherwise could not provide. In addition, they hope to target Kiva loans to poorer clients and areas which are more difficult to serve.

To learn more about FAMA click here, to join FAMA's lending team click here, to read stories from the field from KF11 Matt Raimondi about FAMA click here.