Micro-Credit / Loans / Financing Voluntary Work in Ecuador, South America

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Micro-Credit / Finance Volunteer Project in Ecuador

The economic crisis of the late 1990s affected almost everyone in Ecuador. With the lack of fixed income sources, Ecuadorian communities have started to work to find alternative sources of income for community members. Today approximately 40% of Ecuadorians still live below the poverty line. This opportunity provides you the scope and chance to work closely through microcredit groups and organizations, on livelihood issues resulting from acute poverty and vulnerable among community members.

Micro-credit or micro-lending is a technique that organizations use to assist the poor and underprivileged community members to start or expand a business. Microfinance organizations or community microfinance institutions in Ecuador offer savings and loan services to individuals and groups whom may not have access to traditional banking, the opportunity to access to capitals which can be used to invest in income generating activities. The main purpose of the microcredit scheme is to provide small value loans to members of Ecuadorian communities, who would otherwise be unable to qualify for a loan, in order for them to start businesses and work their way out of poverty. The recipients of the loan use the money for such things as tools and materials with which they can make a living. Once income starts to be generated, the loan is paid back at a very low rate of interest.

As a volunteer, you will be working in one of these microfinance banks, cooperatives, or communities microfinance institutions assisting with accounting, administration and day-to-day activities. You will ensure the smooth running of the bank's activities and if you have any financial, accounting or management expertise, this will be highly beneficial although not essential.

Volunteer Responsibilities

You can contribute with your abilities on a series of sustainability measures like:

- Assist a program that provides credit assistance for self-help savings, bank policies for the poor, and revolving funds for people in need.
- Help to coordinate meetings and trainings for self-help groups which help poor communities build savings, credit and form linkages with banks.
- Empower communities by helping to create village self-help groups in which they independently develop financial institutions that manage profit-making programs.
- Create workshops and introduce the idea of micro-credits and micro-finance.
- Together with local beneficiaries elaborate business plans and facilitate access to micro-credit.
- Providing administrative support.

Skills/Qualifications

Previous experience in the field of micro credit, microfinance, or community based work is desirable and helpful but not mandatory. However, participants in this project must speak Spanish at an intermediate level or higher and be prepared to live and work in a Spanish speaking environment. Participants should also be flexible, adaptable, and open to experiencing a new culture.

Project Location

Our project is located in Quito, Ambato, Latacunga, Ibarra, Cuenca.

Dates, Duration and Application Deadline

The project runs all year-round for 4 - 12 weeks in length and start every Monday so volunteer should arrive 1 or 2 days early. Volunteers choose their own start dates. Applications are accepted up to 2 weeks prior to departure or start date.

 

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EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING ECUADORIAN PROGRAMS
Oe3-163 Mosquera Narvaez St. and America Ave.
Quito - Ecuador / South America
P.O. Box: 17-03-798

Tele/fax: (593-2) 2543231, (593-2) 2239443
Mobil and emergency phones: (593-9) 9400851, (593-9)9963605

E-Mail us: info@elep.org  or  programs@elep.org