The Difference $25 Can Make

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Alice S. Koroma says the secret to her success was a simple $25 loan provided through a microcredit program started by World Renew and its partner Christian Extension Services (CES) in Sierra Leone.

lice Koroma, the recipient of a $25 microloan, has been able to use the money in wonderful ways.

This microcredit program encouraging members to save together started with 10 women. Each contributed about $1.30 every month, says Mariama Charlie, a CES staff member who works in the community of Diang Kondembaia.

The women also received $25 loans, which they invested in various business ventures. The loans were repaid with interest over six months.

Alice, a young mother of three boys and two adopted girls, used her loan to buy items in the city of Kabala, transporting them back to sell. She also bought rice seed to plant on her land.

At the end of the loan period, Koroma repaid her loan easily. She also sold part of her rice harvest to pay for her children’s school fees and materials. Since then, she has taken out and repaid other loans.

“God used a simple $25 investment to change Alice Koroma’s life,” says Charlie.

About the Author

Kristen deRoo VanderBerg was part of the World Renew Communications team from 1999-2016. She now serves as director of Communications & Marketing for the Christian Reformed Church.

See comments (1)


Kudos to World Renew, which appears to have figured out that some of the most helpful things that can be done for "the poor" don't include just giving them lots of money.  Micro-lending is a "banking business" that really can't be done by the private "for profit" sector, but can be done by the private "charitable" sector -- again, without lots of money.

Would it be that we could figure some of this out on the "domestic side."  What we do there, led by our Office of Social Justice, is predominatly advocate that government give increasingly more and more money to the "the poor" (who by world standards are anything but), which largely results in "hurting instead of helping."

World Renew is a separate entity with its own board of directors and doesn't live by ministry shares.  I'd suggest that may account for the difference in approach.