As corporate communication officer of Oikocredit’s international office based in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, I get the chance to visit some project partners abroad. Today I heard that I would accompany our managing director, Tor. G. Gull, to Bolivia and Uruguay by mid-September to attend the first Oikocredit Award to Social Performance ceremonies. This is the first time that Oikocredit organizes such an award, so I looked forward to attending these events. Moreover, this was my first time in Uruguay, which made this trip even more exciting!
Besides attending the ceremonies, we would also visit the awarded project partners in both countries. Not only did these long-standing Oikocredit project partners achieve institutional growth but also have a broad social and economic impact on its members or beneficiaries.
Furthermore, I go to Bolivia with a specific mission: to find three beneficiaries of and MFI project partner in La Paz city who were interviewed in 2004. I have only seen them in pictures, but with the support of our Bolivian office I am sure I find them.
Ups and downs
It was a shock to us in Amersfoort when we heard Ms. Lucia Cusi de Quenta passed away in 2005, and Mrs. Alicia Fernández died only three months ago. Since their first encounter in 2004 with one of my colleagues, they have been our ambassadors in many publications and events where we shared their stories as examples of how fair financing can effectively make the difference in the lives of entrepreneurs in the South.
It was a relief to know that the third beneficiary, Mrs. Yaqueline Callisaya was found still working in the same market in La Paz. I am curious to know how she is doing and if she remembers Oikocredit