Fonkoze Haiti Solidarity Conference in Miami (October 10-12, 2008)
Fonkoze (Foundasyon Kole Zepol) has recently upgraded their website. One of the events being featured is a Haiti Solidarity Conference that will take place from October 10-12 at the Wyndam Miami Airport Hotel and Conference Center. The conference features speakers from the Grameen Foundation and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, discussions on micro-finance, as well as Haitian music and theatre. The registration form is attached below.
Fonkoze is Haiti's largest microcredit organization. Founded in 1994, the organization provides financial services to the poor, most of their beneficaries are women, and the loan repayment rate is extremely high. The organization currently has over 115,000 depositors, over 45,000 active borrowers and 32 branch offices spread throughout every department of Haiti. There is now one in Thomonde where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer for example. Given the lack of credible banking services, the risks of storing cash under the mattress, and the dangers of travelling to Port au Prince with large sums of money, this continued expansion which has been supported by the Grameen Foundation, is most welcome.
To learn more, you can watch this video on Fonkoze. Their work involves much more than just microcredit. Fonkoze allows people in rural communities to exchange dollars to gourdes at a preferable rate, receive wire transfers of funds from friends and families at a reasonable rate, and provides trainings on literacy, business skills, and health practices.
This looks like an interesting conference. If you attend, we would be happy to post your blog describing the event. Even if you can't participate, you can support Fonkoze by volunteering stateside or in Haiti, making direct donations, or just spreading the word. A new option is to get a Fonkoze debit credit as well.