The Mothers Clubs Story
In 1991, Barb Grove went to Haiti with friends on a medical mission. However, she was not a medical person, and instead, ran an economic development organization for a Minnesota iron range community. She was experienced with, and had knowledge of, the micro-credit theories and practices which she applied once she arrived in Haiti. By the time she left Haiti a week later Mothers Clubs had begun.
The first group was made up of ten desperately poor women who regularly brought their babies to the hospital due to malnutrition. The babies were given food and vitamins, sent home, and within a month were back in the hospital. Since receiving Mothers Clubs loans none of the women have brought their babies back to the hospital due to malnutrition. Through hard work and integrity the mothers finally had the resources to care for their children.
Since 1991, over 10,000 women have received loans. Many women, after completing the repayment of their loan have been able to save money and qualify for the new Mothers Clubs "deluxe" program. In groups of five, each woman receives a loan three times the amount of her savings. She uses her savings as collateral which is then returned to her when her loan is repaid.