We end poverty in developing countries around the world. Mentors has established seven partner foundations, and each foundation has its own local board of directors and indigenous staff. Mentors also provides start-up support, training, operational funding and loan capital for its partner foundations.
We help the poor help themselves. With Mentors’ guiding principle of “a hand up, not a handout,” the donor-recipient relationship is transformed. Mentors requires full repayment of loans, based on individuals’ ability to pay, and provides clients with the tools of knowledge necessary to become self-sufficient.
Who We Help
Bonifacia Robles lives in the village of Santiago Sacatepéquez in Guatemala. She is a wife, a mother of five, and at age 39 hopes to be able to provide an education for her children. Bonifacia and her husband are engaged in the buying and selling of cows and the production of milk, cream, and cheese. The entire family participates in the various aspects of production.
After receiving microloans and business training from Mentors International, the Robles family has been able to double the number of cows they own from five to ten. They have also doubled their family income.
This success has lead to education for Bonifacia’s children. Their oldest child will graduate in two years with a degree in electrical engineering. Eugenio and Bonifacia work very hard – they feel strongly about earning their success and want to be an example for their children. Eugenio says, “with an education our children can escape the poverty we grew up in.”
The Robles family has created a new destiny for their family and future posterity. That is the power of a micro loan and business mentoring.
Your donation goes to active clients like The Robles Family in our partner organizations around the world. Your contribution is perpetual, giving over and over the gift of self-reliance.
When her husband passed away unexpectedly more than five years ago, Teresita Viray did not know what would become of her family. Without a job or income, her future seemed bleak. Then a friend invited her to attend a Mentors Philippines center meeting in her neighborhood. She learned that she could take out a small loan to start a business. Her first loan was just 3,000 pesos (about $50).
“I used the money to start a tiny sari sari store,” Viray said. “That was five years ago.”
Six months later she had repaid the loan and was ready for her second loan of 5,000 pesos. She has now repaid five loans (her last was for 33,000 pesos) and is preparing for her 6th loan cycle. Her once-small sari sari store has become a well-established grocery store.
With shelf after shelf of neatly arranged canned goods, fresh foods, and other personal and grocery items, Viray’s grocery store is the pride of the neighborhood.
“I’m very happy,” smiles Viray, with tears in her eyes. “I am so grateful for Mentors. Since I opened my store, I have been able to buy food for my family and pay for the education of my children. My youngest son is now in his second year at the university and is studying business management. I am so proud I have been able to support him. But I am also proud to have accomplished something I had never even dreamed of before. I have learned how to operate a business. I have learned how to manage my money. I know how to keep records for my business. I have learned accounting processes for my grocery store. I have learned how to track inventory. I want to have an even larger store someday, so that I can buy a truck and make deliveries.” she said.
The road for Viray has not been an easy one, but she says she will be forever grateful. “My children are so happy for me. Even though their father is not alive, I have been able to support my family. Without my store I don’t know where we’d be.”
Your donation goes to active clients like Teresita in our partner organizations around the world. Your contribution is perpetual, giving over and over the gift of self-reliance.
Silvia is 25 years old. Prior to finding Mentors Guatemala, she couldn’t find a job and didn’t have an income. A very hard worker, she had graduated in teacher education at a college in Patzicia, Guatemala.
Silvia has always liked everything about handmade crafts. She also understands the importance of being self-sufficient. With this in mind, she obtained a $150 loan from Mentors and began selling tissues and weaves. She also taught her family members how to contribute.
With the weaves, Silvia manufactures handbags, rugs, hats, caps and ornaments with pictures of animals. With scraps of fabric, she prepares cuts and textiles for women in her community. She says she feels more confident with her work because although she is not very experienced, her customers are satisfied. Silvia now earns about $125 regularly, and her income more than doubles during the holiday season.
She has taught her friends to make the crafts she sells, and they have improved their economic situations as well. “I am happy I can show my friends and family members how to become self-sufficient,” said Silvia. “We hope to expand our business to create even more income that can bless our family.”