To make an online gift to this project click here. Select East Asia and the Pacific from the designation list and type China - Small Loans for Farmers into the Project/Partner line.
To make a gift by check to this project click here.
Henan Province, China
Rural areas within the Henan Province in China have been tragically affected by HIV/AIDS. In the mid-1990's a pharmaceutical firm, with the local government's consent, collected blood samples from the local population. For families whose annual income was about $80 the opportunity to make $5 for donating blood was very appealing. Much of the adult population participated. The company held down costs by reusing needles. The result was a mushrooming of HIV/AIDS infection throughout this region of poor farmers. Those infected were the middle generation. Some children born to women with HIV/AIDS were also infected. Many children lost parents and elderly lost their means of support in old age. This tragedy has destroyed families and has weakened an already tenuous economy.
The Global Ministries East Asia and Pacific Office works through Beijing University Medical School and the Zhecheng Succor Society to provide assistance to the HIV/AIDS affected families. The Medical School has made medical care available to people with HIV/AIDS. The University and the Zhecheng Succor Society have helped design and implement programs to support the recovery of affected families and communities. Global Ministries also is supporting the needs of orphans through its Child Sponsorship Program and is involved in a house rebuilding effort.
Revolving loans help farmers in the affected communities. Farmers use the loans to purchase goats which provide milk for the children, the elderly, and the sick and provide some income when there is extra milk. In addition, the goats reproduce every four months or so and the potential for earnings increases. Families begin to pay back the loans after four months. The funds that are repaid are issued in new loans either to the same farmer for other improvements or to other farmers who also need the help. The local organization which administers the program uses about seven percent of the funds to cover the administration of the program.
The pilot experiences of the small loans to farming families has been very successful, with more than 400 families participating with milking goats and about 40 families recently began working with pigs. There still is a great need to expand this program, including more families affected by HIV/AIDS as well as families facing the critical needs of impoverishment. Families are able to return for a second loan after they have paid back the first loan.
The small loan effort is improving the quality of life and income-generation possibilities of the participating families, as well as providing important nutritional elements for the diets of these families, most important for the families affected by HIV/AIDS.
- Goats cost about $41 each
- An additional $3 covers the costs for the organization administering the project in China