Click here -> Snapshot of WMI loans as of January 2017
Click here -> 2016 Annual Report
Click here -> 2015 Annual Report
Click here -> 2014 Annual Report
Click here -> 2013 Annual Report
Click here -> 2012 Annual Report
Click here -> 2011 Annual Report
Click here -> 2010 Annual Report
2016 Program Accomplishments
Loan Hub Activity
- In 2016, WMI provided 7,600 loans totaling $821,000, bringing the total value of loans issued since 2008 to $4,117,000. This year WMI added 2,900 new borrowers, a 20% increase over 2015. This brings our total number of borrowers since 2008 to 11,000. Each loan positively impacts at least 10 people, including nuclear and extended family members. WMI has been able to reach over 100,000 impoverished individuals and improve their lives.
- The revolving loan fund stands at $1,000,000, providing quarterly loans to our borrowers for a period of two years, at which time the borrower graduates and the funds are available to a new borrower.
- WMI assisted over 1,000 women in their transition to independent banking in Uganda, providing them support and working with PBU to ensure a smooth graduation to the formal economy. The WMI loan program has graduated 3,700 borrowers to date.
- WMI continues to work with hub staff on a host of management skills, including bookkeeping, budgeting and accounting.
- The "Girls Group" for P-7 students continues to hold programs designed to empower and educate young teenage girls on healthy behaviors and responsible life skills, as well as entrepreneurship skills. With an overarching goal of readying these young ladies for a healthy and successful future, the immediate aim is to provide a safe and relaxed environment to tackle important topics. This year the girls developed a piggery, which is already earning income for the group. A similar group is getting off the ground in Tanzania.
- Advanced Banking. As the loan program continues to grow, so does the need to make sure it is operating at maximum efficiency and within host country guidelines. Our banking consultant, John Mark Muwangala, a seven year veteran of the Ugandan banking industry, has been instrumental in improving the loan hubs' link to the financial services industry and in helping develop a transition for WMI graduates into the established banking system. WMI also supported the addition of a new full-time staff member, Milly Wolimbwa, to streamline loan operations, facilitate communication with our partner bank, and upgrade WMIís accounting/reporting processes. Milly is a recent graduate of Makarere University Business School with a BS in Finance.
- Victims' Support Fund and On-going Counsellor Training. Our summer intern Natalie Andrasko from the University of Michigan, spearheaded an emergency fund for women who have been sexually assaulted so that they can get free transportation and treatment in Mbale, the nearest city, where emergency medication is available to prevent them from contracting HIV and where treatment is also available for other health needs that may arise after their assault. In a village where many live on a dollar a day, it can be overwhelming to arrange and pay for the $2 round-trip transport and medical treatment in the traumatic aftermath of an assault.
Through a GoFundMe project, Natalie raised over $1,500 to create an emergency fund to cover the costs for a sexual assault victim to get transport and initial follow-up services from professionals in Mbale. In addition, a team of 20 trained counsellors are available for physical, psychological and logistical support in the event of an assault.
- Annual Impact Survey. Our Bethesda college interns managed a massive data analysis to document the loan program's impact. They reviewed over 4,000 records to develop a nuanced picture of the wide-ranging outcomes. For the ninth year in a row, WMI survey results show that the loan program continues to a have a significant impact in reducing poverty and improving household living standards for rural families. Monthly incomes double, triple and even quadruple after women launch their businesses. Before taking a loan and starting a business less than 10% of women earned more than $60/month. After launching their businesses, 90% of women earned more than $60/month.
The impact on savings is even more dramatic. Saving is virtually impossible for households with no regular income. After launching a business women are able to save on a regular basis and savings increases in Uganda were over 800%!
- Our 2015-16 Resource Fellow Ashley Van Waes was much beloved by the BWA staff and community. Under her guidance the Buyobo team became experts at utilizing computer-based programs to manage all loan program operations. Through her efforts the Ruby-cup menstrual management program was introduced in Buyobo, expanding the women's access to feminine hygiene products. She worked with WMI's banking partners to improve loan program services and financial access for the community at large. We are grateful for her commitment, clear-sighted decision-making and unfailing good humor in helping improve loan program operations.
- Our 2016-2017 Resource Fellow Kirsten Miner ably took over the reins in late summer and is already making a significant impact. A Washington State native, Kirsten holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington in Public Health and Women Studies. She served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia's Muchinga Province, where she focused on implementing malnutrition intervention and malaria reduction programs, as well as conducting health education campaigns. Kirsten joined WMI from Seattle's Center for Infectious Disease Research.
- In 2016, WMI added a new Fellow position to assist our Tanzania loan programs. Jess Littman, a former high-school intern with WMI in Buyobo and college intern in Bethesda, joined WMI once again for a one-year Fellowship term. Our Tanzania programs have 20 loan groups scattered throughout villages surrounding Karatu and WMI wanted to provide more on-site support to help them develop efficient and effective systems operations and administrative practices.
- WMI sponsored 8 volunteers in the US and Uganda, this year. Four interns worked in the WMI loan program offices in Buyobo, Uganda. In addition to general office work, computer training, and budget development, the interns focused on addressing health issues, such as the Boda Ambulance project, health screening, and mental health counseling.
- A very talented group of four college interns worked in Bethesda compiling and analyzing our annual survey data. They developed Loan Impact Fact Books that consolidate information into country-wide reports, analyzing regional trends.