Foundation For Women (FFW), a nonprofit microcredit program helping impoverished women globally and locally to bootstrap themselves into economic self-sufficiency, is hitting full stride.
“We’re in the business of empowering women in San Diego and Liberia in West Africa,” said Kenyan-born Murugi Kenyatta, executive director of FFW. The group was founded by Deborah Lindholm, a La Jollan who is its CEO. “We give women small loans so they can start income-generating activity.”
Such income-generating activity often includes handcrafted merchandise, like that to be showcased at the Foundation’s annual holiday bazaar supporting women microentrepreneurs, to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at GAIA Oasis Spa, 7630 Fay Ave. The cost is $20 and includes lunch. Bazaar microcredit recipients will be displaying and selling their beautiful handmade jewelry, bags, clothing, crafts and other items.
Domestically, the FFW’s microcredit program is reaching women and families living below the U.S. poverty line giving them business capital, support, and encouragement. Abroad, microcredit programs have been funded in India, Zambia, Niger and Liberia.
It’s been estimated FFW has touched more than 250,000 women in poverty since its founding in 1997, as each borrower positively impacts five other people with her improved circumstances, meaning 1.25 million-plus people have been reached.
Kenyatta said FFW loans start out small — $100 to $250 — and are gradually increased up to a maximum of $1,000 as businesses grow and flourish.
“They’re given to people who traditionally cannot get access to capital in banks or who don’t have any credit history,” she said. “This gives them a start so they can get their feet on the ground.”
In impoverished African countries, small-business loans for women buy things like agricultural supplies or egg-laying chickens. Domestically, they purchase items like combs and scissors to begin haircutting enterprises.
FFW is entirely supported by individual donations and those from groups like the Leichtag Family Foundation, which has given generously.
For more information about the Foundation visit