|Initial class of successful loan recipients|
Manna has had such a positive impact in Jatumpungo, not just with the loans but with the agriculture program and volunteer groups helping out in the fields, that our reputation has spread throughout the small barrio. Therefore, more members of the community would like loans and we are currently trying to raise more money and researching potential candidates to expand the group from five to eight or nine recipients. They have also requested business classes to help them manage and expand what they do with their produce. With a curriculum prepared by a Vanderbilt micro-finance volunteer group, we plan to start giving weekly classes to anyone in the community who wants to attend. Manna is also looking into purchasing a tent to rent out to the farmers so that they can sell their produce at a small market in July set up by the Patronato.
Finally, the tight knit community has come up with a few long term goals. They are currently attending classes on bee and honey production and want to set up a community initiative creating honey products to sell at the local markets. They also have floated the idea of starting a community run restaurant. Needless to say, Manna has inspired this small rural community to dream big and have helped them accomplish a few of their aspirations already. We look forward to continuing work in Jatumpungo and hopefully expanding to another community one day as well.