This is Mandela. He is from one of MEDA KFPs – key facilitating partners – a fancy name for the local organizations that provide the bulk of the interface and training between MEDA and their clients.
MEDA does extensive research to identify projects and their local partners.
But this is what Catherine Sobrevega, MEDA country project manager for GROW, said when she described MEDA's original plan for the project: “They said it would never work! Why? Africans were used to all the nonprofits giving them things – they wouldn't participate if we didn't give them something. MEDA actually scaled back their program due to the local partners’ concerns.”
How often we think that because we have always done it one way – a hand out – that people don't really just need a helping hand.
But now that KFP, Pronet, is MEDA's biggest promoter. It has changed how they view their work. They praise the model of lending/finance and entrepreneurship over giving. They have seen that this is a more sustainable model and seen – in a relatively short time – the women are more independent, more confident, seen as more important in their villages, have increased income that they have channeled into healthier futures for themselves and their children.