By Denise Ferreyra
Pro Mujer in Argentina
Do you know the history of Pro Mujer in Argentina? This week, as we celebrate our anniversary, is a great time to tell it.
Ten years ago, on November 17, Pro Mujer was giving out its first loans in Salta, a provincial capital in northwestern Argentina. It was a modest beginning: We had only one office, minimal training and little knowledge of the industry, but we were so convinced by the mission to transform lives that we owned that mission. We had little resources, but full certainty that the women that came to us, and deposited their trust in us, would reach their full potential and fulfil their dreams.
Back then, our communal bank consisted of 25 clients. That founding team may have been inexperienced, but its ideas and messages were so clear that many of those women who, in 2005, took out their first loans, continue to grow with us and to be Pro Mujer ambassadors today, transmitting through their actions and words our founding values.
In ten years, we have improved the quality of and wait times for our services, enjoying the ultimate satisfaction of having supported over 16,000 clients in four provinces, and making us more self-reliant.
From 2005 to date, thousands of women have dared to dream with Pro Mujer, receiving close to $36,360,000 in loans, more than 77,000 health check-ups and close to one million business and empowerment trainings.
We’ve gone a long way, and each and every one of the steps taken was worth the effort. There were hurdles, mistakes and frustrations, but also many accomplishments! We all learned on the path, and those lessons have prepared us for the much longer road that lies ahead.
Seeing our clients, women who are more empowered every day, forging ahead with their families, is what gives us strength and motivates us to continue walking down this path.
Thank you to those who built this journey with their own hands and ideas; who were with us in good times and in bad times; who taught us, supported us, motivated us and also challenged us.
Thanks to all of you, employees, former employees, directors, consultants, members of the Board of Directors, financiers, donors, volunteers and colleagues.
Today, Pro Mujer in Argentina is ready for more and greater challenges. Let’s raise a glass and celebrate our first 10 years together!