Stories from the Mission Field

March 2023

Small loan - big impact

Life in the fishing villages on the Bay of Bengal is not easy. Again and again, hurricanes cause flooding: Then single boats, sometimes even numerous wooden huts, disappear in the floods. Despite this, people rebuild their homes and go to sea for days to catch fish. You have little choice.

This hard life has left its mark on Gandari's husband. For decades he cast nets to feed his family with the catch. Today his health is so bad that he can no longer fish. It is now up to Gandari to provide an income.

Education, food, microcredit: ways out of poverty

In Europe, the two would have been retired long ago and would be provided for by pension and health insurance. But in India this security does not exist. Tony Yeguri leads the Community Rural Welfare Development Society – CRWDS initiative. This society helps people in rural areas to find ways out of poverty and supports them in many ways. His father Jacob already had the great desire not only to tell people about God's love, but also to give them sustainable development opportunities:

In a support program for children, boys and girls receive support for their school subjects. Food is given to people who are particularly in need. A training course that is particularly important for this region teaches people how to prepare for the recurring natural events such as storms and floods. Microcredits enable women in particular to earn their own income.

A small business for Gandari

Gandari benefited from one of these loans. Together with other women from her region, she received scales, containers and mats to dry fish and then sell them when there is no fresh catch. Each woman was also given 10,000 rupees to start her business. That's only about 115 euros. A small loan by European standards – a great opportunity for the women and their families.

The seasoned elderly woman was enthusiastic and immediately started her new job: she bought fish, used the new device to dry it and then sold it in the neighborhood and in the surrounding villages. She earned 600 to 700 rupees a day (about 7.50 euros). With this income, she was able to stabilize her family's income and repay the loan after only a short time.

A small loan with a big impact: not only for Gandari, but also for the other women in her group. They are all grateful for the help they received.