Women's Microcredit Cooperative, 2008-2010
The micro-credit program was initially allied with Soy Nica, a nonprofit based in Managua. Soy Nica provided training in business administration, and also provided an advisor to help organize a women's cooperative, Bakahno Pawanka (Multipurpose United Cooperative for Progress), based in Bilwi. (Bilwi is the Miskitu name for Puerto Cabezas). The cooperative had 76 members. After Bakahno Pawanka received training in how to organize a micro-credit system, Amigos and Hermanos de Nicaragua (a group based in Austin, Texas), acting through the Pro-Miskitia Foundation facilitated a grant of funds to help 39 members receive loans of $100 to $200 from the cooperative. In addition to the loan program, the members of the cooperative benefited from training and education in a broad range of topics such as business administration, civil and human rights, health and domestic violence. The grant period was for two years. Many women reported that they improved their economic situations with the help provided by this project.