We are so very thankful to everyone who contributed to our 2011 Annual Prosperity Campaign. Together, we raised $4 million — well over our $2.5 million goal — to help end poverty. Because of you, Whole Planet Foundation will be able to reach 100,000 more impoverished women and their families who live in communities that supply Whole Foods Market stores with product, helping them to lift themselves out of poverty.100% of this $4 million goes to poverty alleviation through microfinance partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Your donation is repaid and reloaned in rural communities again and again, helping about 100,000 people change their own lives. With a microcredit loan, usually $200 or less, an impoverished entrepreneur can create or expand a home-based business, such as small-scale agriculture, weaving, jewelry, prepared foods, raising livestock and others.
We’ll be reaching out to people like Claudine, a farmer in Jurwe, Rwanda, who is a microcredit client of Whole Planet Foundation partner One Acre Fund opens in a new tab. She was one of the first farmers to plant last season. Her first season’s maize harvest “was the best harvest I’ve ever seen,” she said. She harvested 440 pounds of maize on 1/10 acre of land; her best harvest before that was 110 pounds of maize. She attributed her increase in harvest to the One Acre Fund planting method. This season, she is increasing the amount of land she cultivates with One Acre Fund to 1/4 acre, and she will plant beans as well as maize. Last season, Claudine kept part of her maize harvest at home for her family, and she sold part of it to buy a goat. With her next harvest, she is dreaming of purchasing a cow. “With a cow, I can sell milk and use the money to send my children to university,” she said. Claudine has two daughters, Zita, who is eighteen, and Betty, who is fourteen. Zita wants to become a nurse, and Betty wants to become a teacher. “My dream is that they will become great people,” Claudine said. Learn about more entrepreneurs opens in a new tab.Currently, Whole Planet Foundation is funding microlending programs in 32 countries, with 130,980 clients, 91% women, with a 97% repayment rate, supporting 654,900 people with over $16.7 million in funds committed to microfinance partners opens in a new tab around the globe. Together, we are providing a hand up to half a million people. With your continued support, we can reach more impoverished families who can change their own lives through hard work and entrepreneurship. Go online to donate anytime opens in a new tab and together we can continue to change the world through microcredit.Oh, and if you entered our contest to win a trip to Peru to learn about microcredit finance firsthand, check your email this week. The winner will be contacted soon and it just might be you!