Village visits outside of Hyderabad

Yesterday afternoon and this morning we went in groups to visit villages 2 hours outside of Hyderabad where Unitus’s partner MFI (micro finance institution, SKS) serves clients. Clients are woman who live in the villages who collectively gather in groups of five to collect and receive loans. They recieve the loans and hold each other accountable to the repayment of the loans. Many of the women we met with use the loans to help prosper their current businesses. They take loans for the purchase of a buffalo, other agricultural needs and other small store loans, grocery stores and other various enterprises. They all make less than $2 per day. Most of them are married and have children. We walked through their villages, visited their homes, saw their businesses, interacted with them (via translator as they speak a language called Telugu). They were very friendly, loved showing us their businesses and homes and the children were an absolute delight. They loved to practice their english with us, have their pictures taken, and receive stickers from us (that was a huge hit). At one point I was drinking some tea that I had been served and a whole pack load of kids came and sat on and around a bench close to me. I said, “yum, good tea.” They all mimicked me and I just continued with a variety of english phrases. They repeated everything I said and then we all giggled hysterically. The people who work for SKS here, the loan officers who disperse the loans, train the woman and interact with the people in the village are amazing. They work incredibly hard and are passionate about their work. I felt very privileged today to have met them and see what they do.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    >I love this microfinance idea. It’s really cool you got to meet some of the women. And you’re clearly a hit with all kids in India. 🙂

  2. Jim says:

    >SharonI finally found your blog. Thank you for writing in such detail (although you are probably thinking about all the stuff you see/experience that you don’t know how to describe to people who have not been there). I am really enjoying reading your observations and having them chronicled. I am so pleased that you got to meet one of my favorite Indian woman friend – Sheila – She is a hoot huh? Both of them are rich hearted followers of Jesus.How about those contrasts? Pretty overwhelming huh? people “going to the bathroom” on the side of the road. Think of this – Bangalore and Hyderabad are two of Indias most advanced cities.Delhi will be more organized per traffic and a bit more civilized but once you have seen the sytemic long term effects of poverty you will notice it hiding everywhere.I read an article recently from India where a little 12 year old girl killed herself because her mother didn’t have one rupee ( 2cents) to give her for lunch. That puts the microfinance project in perspective doesn’t it – What if her mom had been able to make $2 per day.Keep collecting those experiences and being them home to us Jim

  3. >Hey, thanks for reading you two. Thanks Jim for your comments. i’ll have lots to chat with you and barb about when I get home.

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