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Freedom from Hunger

1644 Da Vinci Court
Davis, CA 95618

Contact: Christine M. Dodson, Manager, Donor Communications
Phone: (800) 708-2555
Fax: (530) 758-6241
Freedom from Hunger

Freedom from Hunger brings microfinance, life skills training and health protection to poor families in developing countries. They continually develop better ways to support the self-help efforts of poor families around the globe and give women tools for self-reliance by combining micro-loans with training in health, nutrition, business management, and family financial issues. Rigorous impact studies have documented significant improvements in family income, womenís empowerment, and child nutrition as a result of their programs.


Freedom from Hungerís main initiative is Credit with Education, which equips women with cash, credit, savings accounts and life-skills training to grow their businesses and improve their familiesí health and nutrition. To participate in the program, women form self-managed groups of about 20 members and meet weekly to discuss various topics. Instead of providing collateral, the women co-sign for each otherís loans. Although a womenís first loan may only be US$50, subsequent loans can reach US$300. At each meeting, local field agents engage women in lively learning sessions on topics ranging from infant and child nutrition, to HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention, small business management, self-esteem and other such issues. After the learning sessions, the women repay their loans at affordable interest rates as the profits from their businesses grow. As the women typically save $1 for every $4 they borrow, they also deposit their savings with CwE and together have saved approximately US$3.1 million. Now operating in 16 developing nations, CwE programs are self-sustaining, covering local operating costs with revenue generated by interest on the loans.

Client Population

Freedom from Hunger focuses on rural regions developing countries where chronic hunger is prevalent. They target women living on one dollar or less per day operating home-based businesses that could benefit from cash credit. As of June 2008, more than 750,000 women were participating in Credit with Education in 12 countries around the world. This number has about doubled since 2005. Most of these women are not formally educated, are the sole breadwinners of their families, and between 80 and 90 percent have a household income at or below 80 percent of area median income.


Randomized control trial evaluations have proven the effectiveness of Freedom from Hungerís education programs that are combined with microloans in order to achieve the greatest impact. Clients participating in malaria education are more likely to use insecticide-treated mosquito nets and clients participating in business education had higher business revenues than clients not participating in the education portion of the program.


Freedom from Hunger
Nancy, who lives in Ecuador, provides for her family on less than $10 each day. She works from early in the morning until late each night, seven days a week, selling bottled water and propane gas in order to accomplish this. Fundacion ESPOIR, a Freedom from Hunger partner in Ecuador, provided Nancy with her first microloan eight years ago, along with the education she needed in order to start her business. With the help of ESPOIR, Nancy has been able to grow her business and now makes enough money to send her children to school. Full Story

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