Changing Lives With Loans

Stowmarket Gipping Valley Rotary Club is celebrating a landmark charitable achievement as one of the hundreds of Rotary clubs from across the country to contribute over £1 million to Lendwithcare, a microfinance charity that enables people in the UK to make small loans to entrepreneurs from poor communities around the world.

Since October 2011, Rotary clubs across the UK have been raising funds to make small loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries, enabling them to start or expand their small businesses and work their way out of poverty, feed their families and send their children to school.

More than £1 million has now been lent by Rotary to farmers, tailors, market stallholders and food producers to name just a few of the types of businesses Rotary has helped in 11 countries across Africa, Asia and South America.

The first Rotary club to join Lendwithcare was Currie Balerno Rotary Club in Midlothian, and Stowmarket Gipping Valley Rotary Club followed suit in October 2013. Since then, the club has raised and lent a total of £9,171, contributing towards the national £1 million landmark, with the club loaning to 328 entrepreneurs in 11 countries.

Guy Wiltshear, the club member in charge of the project, said: “Stowmarket Gipping Valley Rotary Club is proud to be a part of this fantastic initiative. Lendwithcare is a great way to help people out of poverty. You see exactly who the money is going to, and what they will use it for.”

“The entrepreneur uses the funds to help them to earn a living, often employing family members and neighbours too, helping to lift their communities out of poverty. They pay the loans back, which can be re-lent to person after person.”

Rotary is one of the world’s largest and most successful global membership and humanitarian service organisations, with 1.2 million members in over 200 countries volunteering their time and their talents to tackle challenges at home and abroad to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, support education, save mothers and children and grow local economies.

Guy continued: “Stowmarket Gipping Valley Rotary Club has a proud history of fundraising for charitable causes through community events, and Lendwithcare is a fantastic cause very popular with our members.”

“Local people have given generously and it’s testament to their generosity that we’ve managed to reach an incredible £1 million. That money will keep being re-lent and re-lent, translating into many millions of pounds worth of loans over the coming years.”

Stowmarket Gipping Valley Rotary Club has assisted entrepreneurs such as Tania in Ecuador who used her loan to raise piglets to help cover the basic needs for herself and her two children; Reynaldo in the Philippines who used his loan to farm vegetables to provide for his family including three children; and a group of 11 smallholder farmers living in the district of Kasur in Pakistan to pay for a solar tube well which relies on energy gathered through large solar panels to power the well to enable them to grow wheat and rice to sell and vegetables for their households which includes 24 children.

If you would like to help the Rotary Club of Stowmarket Gipping Valley in their quest to offer Lendwithcare even more assistance and also other projects, please email [email protected]. During this recent lockdown we are meeting via Zoom but hope to resume our normal get-togethers when safe to do so.

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