AYNI has sponsored about 100 families in the village with micro-credit loans (about $100 each), since 2006. Families use the loans to invest in small businesses in order generate more income so they are better equipped to meet their daily basic needs. Living in absolute poverty means one is always trying to survive ongoing crises and challenges.
Microcredit loans help to reduce the constant stress that families face. They also provide access to lump sum loans that they would normally not have access to. When the average family lives off of $1 to $3 a day, which doesn’t meet even meet their basic needs, there is usually nothing left over to invest, and those are the families that have been lucky enough to secure some type of work temporarily. Having a micro-credit loan means that if a family member gets sick as they often do, they don’t have to choose between eating that day or buying medicine.
About 70-80% of loan families are successful in making a profit. There are still 200+ families who want loans. These loans are not meant to pull families entirely out of poverty, no one can do that with $100, especially given the lack of paid work opportunities, but they are meant to and do ease the daily burdens in the longer term. It has meant the difference between eating more and eating better, with less stress.
However despite the micro credit program’s obstacles, AYNI has deemed it to be worthwhile and has continued to fund families until 2013. More recently, the government in Peru has been subsidizing families with small monthly payments and this has reduced the permanent need for AYNI to fund families. Nonetheless, the microcredit program will exist in an ad-hoc manner for families that express a need and are not receiving government subsidization.