Thank you so much for your generous support of this campaign!
If you are looking for a way to support our programs during the ongoing crisis, please visit https://www.friendshipbridge.org/donate/
Thank you for your support of Food Relief for Women in Guatemala. We are in the process of adding in offline donations and we will share our total raised with you soon!
“What worries me is that as more days go by, the less open work will be available, and the less money we can make for the family. I feel that we are deteriorating. The desire of any mother is to provide what is necessary for her children and I am concerned that I will not be able to give that to my children.” - Graciela, Friendship Bridge client
Women in Guatemala served by Friendship Bridge face uncertainty and poverty almost every day of their lives. The effects of COVID19 have only exacerbated their burdens and made them more vulnerable than ever. Without work or income due to business closures and containment orders, many are in desperate need and some are facing hunger. Some families in Guatemala have even started hanging white flags outside their homes to signal that they urgently need food.
Feed a Family
Friendship Bridge is a nonprofit social enterprise creating opportunities that empower women in Guatemala to build a better life. Through regular communications with our clients, we now estimate that 55% of the women we serve in Guatemala are in need of immediate food assistance.
We have formed a task force to develop strategic partnerships with suppliers, NGOs, foundations, and even our own in-country staff to feed as many women and families from our programs as we can each month with your help.
When you donate to our Emergency Food Relief Program you support the immediate delivery of essential food products to indigenous women and families in rural Guatemala served by Friendship Bridge in the greatest need. 1 box of food can feed a family of 5 for 1 month.
• Every $20 = Feeds a family of 5 for 1 month in Guatemala with 1 box of food
• Every $200 = Feeds 10 Families
• Every $2,000 = Feeds 100 Families
• Every $20,000 = Feeds 1,000 Families
Stories from Women in Guatemala
“We need to work.” This is the number one thing we’re hearing right now at Friendship Bridge from women in Guatemala. “My immediate need is to return to my business in order to generate income and buy food for my family. We need income to survive.”
But what happens when you can’t go to work? What happens if you already live in or near poverty? With no government safety net, little or no savings, and now no income, what happens when you can’t feed your children? The impact is devastating and women in Guatemala need your help now.
From Friendship Bridge clients:
“I am concerned that we are not able to travel to the markets where I usually go and sell my products and then come home and bring food to my children. I have everything invested in my business but I am not making any money out of it now.” - Lucia
“A little bag of food would help us a lot to save some money and be able to use it in the coming months.” - Alicia
“What worries me is that as more days go by, the less open work will be available, and the less money we can make for the family. I feel that we are deteriorating. The desire of any mother is to provide what is necessary for her children and I am concerned that I will not be able to give that to my children.” - Graciela
Your donation will save lives.
The supplies are ready. We need your crisis support in funding this urgent need. Your donation will not only buy them time to weather this storm but it will allow them to emerge stronger on the other side. Please donate now to sustain Guatemalan women from Friendship Bridge and their families in this time of crisis.
We're here for her.
Friendship Bridge's clients are strong and resourceful but geographically marginalized, living in isolated regions with inadequate transportation or other public services. During the COVID crisis, it has become even more difficult for our staff to travel to clients’ communities to deliver programs and services. With public transportation halted, private travel restrictions in place, and safety concerns at the forefront of our decision making, Friendship Bridge has continued serving women in rural Guatemala in creative ways throughout the crisis and is preparing to safely resume field activities in June.
During the months of April and May, Friendship Bridge:
• Provided 2-month grace periods on Microloans to keep our clients from having to choose between paying back their loans or buying food and necessary supplies for their families.
• Implemented a telehealth program
• Launched an online intranet to keep staff connected
• Made thousands of educational and health-related phone calls
About Friendship Bridge:
Friendship Bridge is a nonprofit social enterprise creating opportunities that empower women in Guatemala to build a better life. Since 1998, our microcredit, education, and health services have expanded to 8 branch offices in Guatemala where we now serve over 32,000 women each year. The women we serve are primarily indigenous Maya and live in rural areas where the need for poverty relief is highest.
Our Microcredit Plus program combines small loans with educational and technical training and is unique and responsive to our clients’ needs. We consider each woman’s chosen business sector, her level of business development, and her individual skill level when she joins Friendship Bridge. Our Health for Life program is an additional service we provide and focuses on preventative diseases and is designed to eliminate obstacles rural women often face when accessing healthcare services.
Our Microcredit Plus program is based on a group lending model in which 8-20 women form a borrowing group, called a Trust Bank. Together, members of the group co-guarantee each other’s loans. Each Trust Bank meets monthly with a Friendship Bridge loan officer (Facilitator) in the clients’ communities where the members first consolidate their monthly loan payments and then participate in a non-formal adult education session. Our Non-Formal Education is a critical component of our Microcredit Plus program because it is here where our clients learn about topics such as financial literacy, women’s rights, women empowerment, and self-esteem.
Learn more about our work to empower women and eliminate poverty at www.friendshipbridge.org