/ 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
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
- Together with local beneficiaries elaborate business plans
and facilitate access to micro-credit.
- Providing administrative support.
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.
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.