The mission of the Adelante Foundation is to help the poorest of the poor women in rural Honduras improve their standard of living. We do this by loaning money to women for them to start and grow small businesses. We also provide ongoing training to help the women invest wisely. Through our integrative microfinance and education program, we promote four basic principles that guide our clients: Unity, Discipline, Hard Work and Courage. These four principles are essential to our education and training because they are the cornerstones of our loan program.
An assembly of women are standing with their fists in the air, shouting "Unity, Discipline, Hard Work, and Courage! This is our way of life." Adelante has assembly meetings every two weeks where borrowers make loan repayments and receive business administration and life skills training. Each assembly opens and closes with this slogan.
Before becoming Adelante borrowers, our clients were perhaps alone with no one to help them and no one to encourage them. Now they have several layers of community:
If a woman is willing to remain poor, she may live without discipline. But to work your way out of poverty requires tremendous discipline. Adelante demands discipline in three ways:
As any entrepreneur knows, starting and maintaining a business is hard work. It is especially so when you have a second grade education, six children, and do all the cooking and cleaning. Adelante borrowers paste pictures of their goals beside their mirrors to help motivate them to work hard each day and leave poverty.
Most of our borrowers are first-time businesswomen, who have never before had 1,000 lempiras (around $50) at once to invest in a business. They are fearful of taking on debt, they are afraid their business will fail, many have a hard time even imagining a life where they are not poor. We salute the courage of our borrowers in taking the risk to improve their children's standard of living.