Friday, November 19, 2010

Our business class gets off to a running start

Today brings an update on one of MPI Ecuador's fastest growing programs, microfinance. Here to give a run-down on the launching of our business class is Brock!
Seeing last year’s leg work come to fruition has been one of the best parts of the microfinance program thus far. Last year Chet and Eric took a class to become certified and learn how to teach small business classes from a local university. After taking the class, they were unable to get a small business class off the ground in Rumiloma. However, they were able to create a course manual, which Jack, Luke, and I have used to get the class started. Of course the class started in true Latin American style over a year after the initial push was made.
After walking around the community surveying potential class participants, we settled on teaching the class Saturday afternoons. It seems like we chose the correct time as 10 people came to our first class. 10 may sound like a small class, but this number actually seems to indicate definite success. Christian and Laura from Anamisi, our agriculture partner organization, were amazed at the turn out. Following the first class we asked all the students that wished to continue with the course to inscribe and all 10 did so. Jack, Luke and I were all ecstatic about the turn out and avid participation of our students. We have high hopes as we continue with our 6 week course.
Nestor, the head of our microfinance partner organization EPV, attended the first class and thought so highly of it that he has asked us to give some classes to their employees for training. It has been so cool for Jack, Luke and me to see this partnership grow in a way that Manna has been striving to obtain for a while. We do have to give credit to the foundation work which was done by the PDs before us. The realization of these new classes is a tribute to the hard work Manna has done in Ecuador for the last three and a half years.

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