Cooperation between Wereldwinkel and Rabobank Dommel en Aa helps boost income of Ecuadorian women
Since 2012 the local Dommel en Aa Rabobank has been affiliated to the Ecuadorian microcredit initiative Grameen Loja, as part of Rabobank Foundation’s adoption programme. Through annual contributions to set up savings and loan groups for the most impoverished, 800 farming families are helped. 98% of the target group are women. Thanks to the credit they get, these women are able to invest in their businesses. Many make beautiful hand-crafted products such as jewellery and clothing.
In addition to its annual contributions, Rabobank Dommel en Aa has been actively working to promote Dutch imports of some of these unusual products. Its efforts have been met with success in the form of a cooperation with fair trade retailer Wereldwinkel. Dommel en Aa is the first Rabobank to forge such an agreement, which was signed at a festive ceremony on 31 October. As a result local Wereldwinkel outlets in Berlicum, Sint-Michielsgestel and Boxtel will soon start stocking products from Ecuador. By buying these products, Dutch shoppers can contribute directly to the Grameen Loja adoption project in Ecuador.
Comments Martijn Schoones, senior advisor Marketing, Communication and Cooperation at Rabobank Dommel en Aa: “We’re proud to have succeeded in doing this. The products have since been ordered from our adoption project. We’re expecting that from January 1 2014 a range of items manufactured under fair trade conditions -- such as bracelets, earrings, table runners, placemats and headgear – will be available through local Wereldwinkel outlets for the next year.” Rabobank Foundation regards the initiative as a textbook example of the added value offered by the adoption programme. Not only have the women of Grameen Loja gained access to finance, but through the project they have also accessed a new market. A small start, admittedly, but a promising one.
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