Celebrate women who are empowering the next generation
Through this story, we celebrate Mirna, an empowered woman who is empowering others to create.
To evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.
Growing up in impoverished Paraguay, it is common practice to borrow money from loan sharks in order to get by. But the 550% interest rates with short repayment plans don’t give borrowers much time to make the money they need to pay it off, leaving borrowers in deeper debt.
Through Diaconia’s micro-loan program, Mirna was given the opportunity to establish a sewing business at age 20. Mirna designs and manufactures clothing and footwear for her brand, called “CIA”.
Having gone from unemployed to self-employed, Mirna is thankful that she can borrow from Diaconia instead of from a loan shark. With her first loan of $80, she was able to invest in a sewing machine.Four years later, she has slowly expanded her business, selling more clothes and shoes. Mirna has been able to pay off her most recent loan of $600, thanks to the community of women in her Diaconia trust group who hold each other accountable.
“Working together with other women in my group has been great,” said Mirna. “As secretary of the group, I start calling each woman on my list, taking note of each payment.”
With the success of her clothing and footwear business, Mirna is inspiring other women in her circle of influence to create.
The cycle of empowerment continues.
Your gift of $25 can provide financial training and a micro-loan for one woman for one month. $150 can provide vocational training for 20 women for one month.