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Dream of Chiapas 
Greetings from the American Continent! I have just got back from San Cristobal where I saw what only a few years ago thought was just a dream: Grameen Trust Chiapas is working! And is working wonderfully well! We are pretty close to having two hundred borrowers in the following Mayan villages in the highlands of Chiapas: Aguacatenano, Belen, Zacualpan Nueva Palestina, Nuevo Jardin, Vistahermosa, and 10 de Abril. Our repayment rate is 100 percent. 
During my visit to Chiapas I worked hard with Mrs. Pilar Garcia Quintana and Ms Caludia Robelo, in order to design an expansion strategy which, among other things, includes: 
  • the elevation of GT-Chiapas to the legal status of "Asociacion Civil" which would, among other thing, enable us to gather donations from local individuals and enterprises. We consider these donations crucial for covering our growing operational costs. 
  • the application to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and to CGAP, for additional funds both for disbursement in the form of new loans and for covering our operational costs. 
  • the creation of a credit cooperative for our beneficiaries to enjoy a higher rate of return on their weekly savings.

Dream of Chiapas 

Hillary's Support   

A Bank for Africa  

Rooted in Our Hearts 

Beginning in Croatia  

Angolan Initiatives 

Teacher's Helping Hand 

New Horizons on War Front 

We are pleased with the progress we have made so far. We are now duly registered and we have started gathering some donations, albeit small compared to our growing needs. We have already filled-in an application for funding from IDB and CGAP. And we are dealing with the creation of the credit cooperative via BANCRECER, the bank that manages the funds which we receive from Bangladesh. 

Beatriz Armendariz 
David Rockefeller Center for Latin 
American Studies
Harvard University 
61 Krikland Street 
Cambridge, MA.02138, USA 
Tel: +1-617-495 9806 
Fax: :+1-617-496 2802 
October 28, 1998
Hillary's Support

A Bank for Africa 
I wish to confirm our commitment  to the establishment and development  of a sustainable  microcredit bank,  designed to be a replication  of Grameen  Bank of Bangladesh. The proposed bank  will assist women and their families to work  their way out of poverty with dignity. I attach for your reference,  copies of letters from  the Central  Bank of Kenya and  our lawyer. 

Our experiences demonstrate that small-scale farmers, traders  and artisans living in rural and urban areas can  put small  loans to good use.  We believe that extending  small amounts  of  credit with appropriate encouragement and orientation, will lead  to significant increases in income, production and employment. 

Stephen Wilfred Omondi Oludhe
Executive Chairman 
African Microcredit Bank
P.O. Box 35189
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel : 710652
Fax : 710652
October 17, 1998.

Rooted in Our Hearts  
I shall come to Bangladesh in November, with Mrs. Mairead Maguire, the  Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, to meet with the Prime Minister. Can we come to meet you  and your colleagues on 23rd November?  We hope to be able to hand over to you a check for  US$100,000. The Grameen Bank will never disappear because its roots are deep in the heart of so many people all around the world. As your friends, we will try everything to help Grameen at this crucial time. 

The ECOSOC has adopted the resolution to proclaim the Decade 2000-2010 as the International Decade for  Culture,  Peace and Non Violence, just five minutes after the adoption of the resolution regarding the Year 2005. 

Pierre Marchand  Partage 
G40 rue Vivenel
BP n"70311"
60203 Compiegne Cedex
Tel: 0344209292
Fax:  0344209495
October 10, 1998
Beginning in Croatia 
ILast month much progress was made on the idea . It so happened the I was not alone with the idea. The representative committee of the 4.5 million Croatians living abroad called the Croatian World Congress, decided recently to open a micro-credit bank that would help develop Croatia. I worked with them on drafting the initial plans. 

Your involvement in any form would be greatly appreciated. We believe that the experience gained through Grameen Bank would help set us in the right direction and provide valuable insight into developing a successful micro-bank. 

We would like to discuss with you such ideas as sending future managers of the bank on internships with Grameen, involving managers from your bank in advisory roles and the exchange of information and ideas.  Any involvement on your behalf would be greatly valued 

Ante Glavas 
Modvescina 5 10060/ Zagreb, Croatia
Tel. fax : 385-1 425731
October 19,1998
Angolan Initiatives 
As mentioned before, the object of our visit is to discuss the financial and organizational aspects related to the establishment this coming year of a private bank in Angola, following the line of work of the Grameen. Also, since we were very much impacted by the success and need of the health program that accompanies the microcredit system, we also will like to discuss that  issue, particularly the definition of its products and its financial, operational and organizational aspects. For that purpose,  my wife (who is a nurse holding an MBA) will also participate in the visit. 

We would like to collect from you and your colleagues all relevant materials ( including the health program )  for our the new bank. 

In short, we are interested in discussing all  important issues that are relevant to starting a new bank to serve the poor in Angola. To benefit most from our visit, we could organize our discussions following these aspects or any other way that you may consider appropriate: 

  • capital, finance and financial products 
  • operations on the field, including organization of clients, organization of agencies, communication, transportation, etc. 
  • institutional organization, including staff, physical assets, logistics, etc. 
  • decision making, chain of command, internal auditing 
  • health program, financial, operational and organizational aspects, future collaboration.. 
Cesar Ferrari
IMF Advisor
Banco Nacional de Angola
Luanda, Angola.
E-mail : ferrari@ eboret.net
November 27, 1998
Teacher's Helping Hand 
I have just finished reading "The Banker to the Poor". I am writing to you to offer you my encouragement & support. Like all the best ideas, that of Grameen Bank is very simple, but at the same time so radical and of such enormous impact.

I wonder whether you would tell me how to find out more about Grameen Shikkha? I am an English teacher here in the UK, and I wonder if there might be anything I can do to help in your educational program. I did four weeks voluntary work in Kenya, this summer. I helped to write & edit an English text book for students and a teacher's hand book to a women's group in Nairobi. I am looking for a longer term voluntary commitment abroad; hence I am wondering whether my skills may be of any relevance to any of your programs.

I would also like to donate a small sum to your work & would be pleased to receive  information  about how to do that.

I believe that the future for poor people lies in the ideology of Grameen, and I would as sure you that leaders , administrators & borrowers  are frequently  in my prayers.

Take heart, be strong! God bless you!

Susan Parkin 
40 Poplar Avenue
Warton, Preston
PR-4  1BS
November 28, 1998

New Horizons on War Front 
I am currently reading, and enjoying your book: �A World without Poverty�, which was given to me by a European woman as I was traveling through Belgium in May 1998.

We have a small association of women that has been running for several years. We taught these women  applied technology to the point that they could take charge of themselves. We specifically taught them to make products that they could make in their houses and then sell (e.g. soap, fish oil, Soya milk, wine, liquid, soap, fruit juices, etc�). But they have not found it easy. The pillaging and wars continue to hamper their efforts. They are great entrepreneurs but because of their circumstance have not been about to go very far. The inflation problems here annoys them greatly. For the last two years we have been building up an informal cooperative bit by bit. Our objectives are to:

  • Help the women to save
  • Give credit to women who already have small income generating activities to raise them out of  poverty.

Your book has opened up new horizons and encouraged us to go further.

The war has destroyed our country, we will not stop in our efforts. Your experience will be very useful to us.


Kapaya ma Peya 
Centre Bondeko
B.P 1248
Democratic Republic of Congo
December 15, 1998