At least a billion people around the world still do not have the access to safe drinking water. Without clean and safe water in their homes, families may have to travel long distances to collect water or risk falling ill to water-related diseases. World Water Day, held every March 22, aims to highlight water-related issues globally. In honor of World Water Day, meet three FINCA clients who have worked hard to provide clean, running water for their families and communities.
Joyce Mandevu, Malawi
Joyce Mandevu, a hardworking mother living in Malawi’s Salima Lake District, was struggling to take care of her two children and her elderly parents after her husband died. Without a regular income, she feared for her family’s future. Aiming to protect her family and build a comfortable home with electricity and running water, Joyce started a business selling a variety of beverages with the assistance of FINCA loans. Because of her determination, and through building a loyal customer base, Joyce’s beverage business is thriving. Today, she is saving funds to build her dream home with safe, drinkable running water for her family.
Maria Leona Ortiz, El Salvador*
Living in a small house in Santa Ana, El Salvador, Maria Leona Ortiz wakes up every day at 5 am to grind corn to make 400 tortillas and 400 tamales to sell. Though Maria enjoys cooking, she had always dreamt of running her own small, convenience store from home. When her husband suddenly suffered from a stroke and was unable to work, her family completely depended on her modest income. Despite these challenges, Maria still pursued her dream. With the loans from FINCA, she opened a small grocery store. The profits from Maria’s dream business not only supports her family but also helps to improve her home. Her rented house now has running and safe, drinkable water and electricity.
Madina Namanda, Uganda
Madina Namanda, a FINCA client in Uganda, once struggled to take care of her four children. After acquiring her first loan from FINCA, she was able to grow her pineapple plantation. Madina also wanted to give back to her community. She used a FINCA loan of $80 USD to install water pipes and a water meter to develop a clean water distribution site in her community. Today, a large number of her neighbors are able to enjoy clean drinking water and have safer and healthier lives.
*FINCA worked in El Salvador from 1990 to 2016. In June 2016, FINCA transferred its operations to Optima Financial Services in El Salvador.