Adelante Celebrates Thirteen Years in Honduras!
On September 14, 2000, Adelante Foundation disbursed our first loans to women in rural areas outside of La Ceiba. Thirteen years later, Adelante stays true to our founding principles and continues to empower women throughout rural parts of Honduras. Our success is best measured by the commitment that our staff brings to our mission every day, whether out in the field with the clients or in our Headquarters entering data and covering the administrative needs. As our Finance Manager Gabriela says, her job has allowed her equal parts “professional growth + social impact”.
Personally, working with Adelante has allowed me to fulfill my own ambitions of emerging myself into the microfinance field with a socially responsible organization that I feel proud to work with. When I asked around the office, I found that my co-workers share similar thoughts, confirming that the success I have witnessed and have become a part of in the past thirteen months is a direct result of the great team that we have. Below, I’d like to share some of the responses I received which reveal just what type of working environment we have at Adelante:
What I like most about my job is…
The personal contact that I have with each one of my clients: getting to know them, listening to them, talking with them. This approach of trust and care is what I like the most. –Gabriel Gomez, Credit Officer
…Being able to work side by side with those people who are leading the organization and seeing the passion that they put into their work on a daily basis and how that reflects on the greatness of the organization. –Ana Hernandez, Management Assistant
…The fact that at Adelante every decision is made with the institutional mission in mind. Everyone, from the Board of Directors to the Credit Officers, is motivated by a desire to improve the quality of life of our clients and their families and simultaneously promote sustainable development in Honduras. –Sophia Anderson, General Manager
…Working with humble and simple women and being able to share with them what I learn every day, being able to serve them with great enjoyment and without any other motive, and seeing how they improve their socioeconomic conditions with the educational lessons that we give them. –Irma, Credit Officer
…Being able to talk to our clients and hearing directly from them how the work Adelante does impacts their lives. –Roos Saalbrink, Development Intern
What makes me proud of my job is…
…I feel satisfied with the grain of sand that I contribute to the great work that Adelante carries out. The gift of service is what characterizes me professionally. –Rosa Mejía, Education Coordinator
…Belonging to an organization with so much social conscience. Even in these difficult economic times of little opportunity for those who have less, we give hope by offering opportunities through microloans to those in extreme poverty with the desire to get ahead as their only requisite. –Dirkie Dolmo, IT Manager
…Is that we lend a helping hand to women so that they can achieve one goal: To improve their lives and live with dignity with their families. –Juana Irias, Administrative Assistant
…That we are all working together towards a common, socially-minded goal. Everyone comes from a different background and has different strengths, but we all complement each other well and have been able to accomplish great successes by sharing our knowledge and cooperating with one another. –Sophia Anderson, General Manager
…That our General Manager (Sophia) is a reflection of each of us; between her and our Board of Directors, we have a leadership team that looks at all staff members equally. –Oscar Mejía, Operations Manager
The most important thing that I have learned is…
…The most valuable things in life are achieved with sacrifice. –Obdy Veliz, Logistics Coordinator
…There is always something new to learn and it always surprises me that there are endless ways in which we can make an impact on women and their families that we haven’t yet explored. But we have the potential and vision to do so and continue growing. –Gabriela Puerto, Finance Manager
…That a business will become great when it achieves equilibrium of loyalty among its staff and clients. –Oscar Mejía, Operations Manager
…That poverty is not just about not having enough money to feed one’s children, or send them to school, or put a roof over their heads. Poverty is a disease of the human spirit that affects the way a person views her life, herself, and what possibilities exist for her. Poverty is not having the tools or knowledge to make decisions that could improve one’s situation. Poverty is living every day so consumed by meeting the first one or two levels of Maslow´s hierarchy that self-esteem and self-actualization are never even considered.
What I like about our program is that it is intrinsically allows for the fulfillment of higher levels of need. A sense of belonging is acquired through membership in a solidarity group; self- esteem and confidence are achieved through successfully starting a business and paying back a loan; and self-actualization is attained when solidarity group members apply morality and creative problem solving techniques to come to the aid of a fellow group member who is experiencing difficulties making her payment. Consequently, clients are better prepared to meet the basic needs of themselves and their families – such as food, health care, and shelter. –Sophia Anderson, General Manager