Loans For Business or Residence
Ancient Ways began providing micro-loans as one of the first ways to offer assistance to the rural residents. For example, the initial donations on the March 2000 visit were used to begin a chicken raising business.
Since that time, numerous opportunities to borrow money and earn income have been made available, as well as helping families with a life crisis expense. All loans have been given with no-interest and so are called ‘soft’ loans.
- Microloans are given for both projects, for instance, adding a room to their home, or building a toilet, as well as entrepreneurial enterprises.
- Hardship aid is provided as loans and general family support when there is a traumatic event or tragedy.
Some microloans have been extremely successful and some have failed miserably. The hyper-inflation, raw materials availability, and lack of training resources have created challenges above and beyond the norm we can imagine.
Our successes have included:
- A woodworker business (there is a large demand for coffins), but also someone who can build tables and chairs.
- Certified maize seed loan to generate great crops (we ask them to repay the loan by contributing maize to our food budget for the preschool).
- Raw materials for the creative use of textiles and hand work (we have exported many items over the years, this group started with 6 women and now there are over 30 involved).
- Buying a peanut grinder for peanut butter, then selling to the preschool.
Other highly successful loans have been provided to staff for such things as:
- hut building so that male and female children can sleep in separate quarters (many residents unexpectedly receive their nieces and nephews due to their siblings death – there really isn’t much adoption at all within the Shona people)
- purchasing goats for meat production
- buying donkeys to help with plowing