2 out of 3 finalists supported by LMDF!
In early November, e-MFP will be hosting the European Microfinance Week with education as its main theme. The week will culminate in the 7th European Microfinance Award. Education is one of the largest determiners of future economic status and self-reliance. The ripple effects of providing young people with an education go far beyond the individual and into the societies, communities and countries in which they live. Microfinance institutions can play an important role in addressing issues of cost and access, reducing the number of out of school children and young adults without appropriate skills.
The competition is now entering its final stages and from the 30 original applicants, 3 finalists have been selected. These finalists have shown a commitment to ensuring access to education and skills development for the benefit of the communities in which they work. LMDF is delighted that the two institutions it supported, Fundación Génesis Empresarial and Kashf Foundation, are among the three finalists:
Fundación Génesis Empresarial is based in Guatemala and is supported by LMDF via its investment in the Higher Education Finance Fund ( «HEFF»). This foundation provides education credits to young people who wish to study, but do not have sufficient financial resources to do so. Currently just 13% of young Guatemalans go on to complete secondary education and those from poorer families are less likely to be able to pursue their studies. The services which Fundación Génesis Empresarial provides together with loans, such as job-placement fairs, career mentoring and financial education, are focused on allowing young people to generate more income that will promote positive changes in their families, and generally for their country. To date, over 680 students have benefited from this innovative program to pursue higher education.
Kashf Foundation is based in Pakistan. Although state education is compulsory and free in Pakistan for young people between the ages of 5-16, conditions in schools are very poor. Over half the state schools have no toilets and no water and 18% of teachers are absent every day. This has led to a situation where only 74% of children complete primary school and 51% complete lower secondary education. Young girls are disproportionately affected. Kashf provides loans to low-cost private schools, along with pedagogical training for teachers to improve teaching practices and specialised school management courses for school owners to improve the school infrastructure and their financial and operational administration. Since 2014, Kashf has worked with 850 schools, serving over 150,000 students.
The LMDF wishes the best of luck to all the finalists.