Richard Harrington Conservative MP for Watford and member of the International Development Select Committee has made a generous loan to a farmer living in poverty in Cambodia, through www.lendwithcare.org.
Richard Harrington is the first MP to make a loan through revolutionary new initiative, Lendwithcare.org, which encourages people in the UK to lend relatively small amounts to small scale entrepreneurs running their own enterprise in developing countries.
Richard’s loan will assist Hean Ngoung to expand her business, based in Prey dach village in Thmor Korl district in Battambang province where she lives with her husband and four daughters. Hean and her husband, Pirom Min, have worked as farmers for the past ten years. At the moment, she has 11 pigs which she needs to feed and raise for around four months before she can sell them at the local market. Hean applied for a loan from Chrey Credit Union in order to buy more piglets and commercial feed.
Currently operating in Cambodia, Togo, Benin and the Philippines, Lendwithcare.org is an exciting innovation from CARE International UK enabling poor people – especially vulnerable, marginalised women – to find their own route out of poverty and support themselves and their families over the long term. As opposed to making a one-off donation, members of the public can lend from just £15 directly to a chosen individual in the developing world to help them start or improve a small business. This enables people from poor communities to earn income, send their children to school, feed their families and gain economic independence as their business grows.
Richard Harrington said: “I am very proud to be the first, of hopefully many MPs to lend to entrepreneurs through this initiative. I have seen first hand on foreign trips with the DFID Select Committee the significant difference that can be made through supporting small businesses, farms and smallholdings. This gives people a chance to help themselves and those around them.
“I hope that as many people as possible across Hertfordshire will get involved and play their part in helping somebody in the developing world improve their lives.”
Entrepreneurs repay the lender using the income from their growing business. Once repaid, the lender can then choose to recycle the loan to support another entrepreneur or withdraw the money. Lendwithcare.org is supported by The Co-operative as part of a shared vision to help people to work their way out of poverty.
Head of Lendwithcare.org Tracy Horner says: “CARE International UK has a long history in creating successful and innovative microfinance programmes. Lendwithcare.org propels our expertise in this field and enables poor communities to find sustainable ways to earn a decent living and to lift themselves out of poverty.”
Notes to Editors
Visitors to the website – www.lendwithcare.org – can view the profiles of entrepreneurs from all over the world and choose which business they’d like to support. They can invest towards the total needed, lending from £15 up to the full amount, and will be able to follow the progress of the entrepreneur’s growing business, to see how their new source of income is helping to improve many aspects of their lives. The loan is repaid to the lender over an agreed repayment schedule (usually a period of six to twelve months) and when the repaid loan is credited to the lender’s account, they can choose to withdraw the money, donate it to CARE, or recycle it into another loan.
The Co-operative’s support for lendwithcare.org builds upon its existing Tackling Global Poverty programme, which benefits over a million people each year including through its leadership on Fairtrade, support for overseas co-operatives and large-scale clean water, sanitation and green energy projects.
CARE International UK believes in realising everyone’s potential to work their way out of poverty. CARE has decades of experience in breaking down barriers to opportunity and giving people the chance to make a decent, dignified living. We are leaders in implementing microfinance solutions to poverty, and have seen the powerful effect this can have in transforming people’s lives.
Affordable financial services can help the poorest earn a living, grow their businesses and create new jobs, pulling whole communities out of poverty. CARE strives to ensure that all our microfinance work is ethically responsible, and will only partner with institutions that also meet this ethos.