On Saturday, June 29...
The past two weeks have been absolutely incredible. We have been working on a lot of exciting projects and had the opportunity to meet some borrowers and hear their stories in person, which is one of the things I was most looking forward to prior to this trip.
Last week, we went “into the field” on Tuesday, meaning that we had the opportunity to meet and interview several of our borrowers who now run successful businesses. We interviewed a woman who travels 15 hours to sell bogoya (a type of banana), a woman who sells fresh produce, a bar owner, a poultry farmer who also runs a school, and a dairy farmer. We even got to try milking a cow and were given two chickens (which we promptly ate for dinner the next night). Earlier this week, we also spoke to a woman who runs an affordable, but still profitable, hardware store. Speaking to these women and hearing firsthand about the impact that the Women’s Microfinance Initiative’s (WMI) loan program had on them, their families, and communities were so rewarding and helped me to understand why our loan program is so important to the communities we serve.
The field was thrilling, but the projects we are working on have also become more exciting and demanding. Another intern and I compiled the annual factbook for our organization, which entailed making graphs from the data we had digitized and writing about the data in a more qualitative sense. This was supposed to be our main task for the summer, but we have already sent our draft to our organization's board of directors for approval and are now working on the more stylistic elements of the factbook. It is exciting that we are on the tail end of this project since it will allow us to serve WMI in more areas throughout the next four to five weeks.
Another project that I have been working on is redesigning our website. It seems very stylistically outdated, so myself and another intern have been working on creating a new website after consulting with our boss. I have been able to learn a lot of HTML and CSS, and as a computer science major, this is one of my favorite projects so far. I look forward to continuing to build a new and improved site over the next few weeks.