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Freedom from Hunger

Program

Freedom from Hungerís main initiative is Credit with Education, which equips women with cash, credit, savings accounts and life-skills training to grow their businesses and improve their familiesí health and nutrition. To participate in the program, women form self-managed groups of about 20 members and meet weekly to discuss various topics. Instead of providing collateral, the women co-sign for each otherís loans. Although a womenís first loan may only be US$50, subsequent loans can reach US$300. At each meeting, local field agents engage women in lively learning sessions on topics ranging from infant and child nutrition, to HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention, small business management, self-esteem and other such issues. After the learning sessions, the women repay their loans at affordable interest rates as the profits from their businesses grow. As the women typically save $1 for every $4 they borrow, they also deposit their savings with CwE and together have saved approximately US$3.1 million. Now operating in 16 developing nations, CwE programs are self-sustaining, covering local operating costs with revenue generated by interest on the loans.

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