Two CRS employees — Marc Bavois and Dina Brick — won Practitioner of the Year awards from The Small Enterprise Evaluation Project (SEEP) collaborative learning network recently at the annual SEEP conference.
During its decades of microfinance practice, CRS has focused on serving the poorest of the poor, primarily women and vulnerable populations living in remote rural communities for whom the cost of accessing financial services is very high. CRS began its microfinance work in 1988 by building the capacity of local partners to own and manage credit-led microfinance institutions, and since 2006 has helped established MFIs continue to serve those most in need through promotion of a Social Performance Management approach to their business.
Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) help thousands of women and their families in Ethiopia improve their economic situation by starting small businesses, buying livestock or even sending their children to school.
As it has all over the world, CRS’ microfinance program brings much more than fiscal help to parents in Benin.
Every morning, Dayaba Ibrahim woke up worrying if it would be a good day. Too often, it was a bad day—a day when few, if any, of her seven children would eat.
Today she’s able to feed her family—and pay their school fees—with proceeds from her fried bread business.
Dayaba, who lives in Niger, credits the change to a local Savings and Internal Lending Communities group, or SILC, organized by Catholic Relief Services.