Episcopal Relief & Development began working with the Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala in 2005 after Hurricane Stan hit northern Central America with heavy rains and winds, supplying funds to purchase food, water and blankets and later working to rebuild housing for affected communities.
As our partnership evolved, we supported the establishment of a Diocesan Development Office to implement and monitor long-term projects. The activities focus on alleviating chronic poverty through the formation of Savings with Education (SwE) groups. Through these groups, members can build up their individual savings and access micro-loans to support small business development. Group meetings include training on financial literacy and business skills, and members in several groups are working to improve the environment in their communities by planting trees.
The Savings with Education (SwE) program aims to improve the quality of people’s lives by building their financial capabilities through increased savings, access to loans, and education on how to start and expand small businesses. In 2019, Episcopal Relief & Development hopes to increase the capacity of 2,087 community members to save, access credit and cope with financial shocks through community-based savings groups in the Northeast, East, West and Southern Regions of Guatemala.
Our work with Women focuses on helping communities promote the rights of women and children and move toward the vision that everyone deserves a life free from violence in a society where they are treated with dignity and respect. Only then can communities truly heal and thrive.
Our Climate-related work focuses on how families and communities can work together to adapt to the effects of rapidly changing weather patterns. This work includes preparing for and recovering from climate-influenced events such as floods, hurricanes and other disasters.
Our micro-finance programs emphasize involving both women and men, which can be very effective in promoting gender awareness and empowering women. When women become breadwinners, they increase their role in household decision-making, which often enhances the whole family’s well-being. Read more about Micro-finance.Read more about Micro-finance