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  • Writer's pictureAmber Vroman

Female Empowerment with Pro Mujer and WCCN

As WCCN’s Communications and Social Impact Manager, I recently embarked on a transformative journey during our study tour to Nicaragua with Naturally Smart Travel. Our adventures had me diving deep into the world of micro-borrowers and witnessing firsthand the incredible impact of our partnerships, particularly with Pro Mujer. As a woman who has previously navigated the challenges of accessing healthcare without insurance, I understand the crucial role of organizations like Pro Mujer in providing essential services to women. Today, on International Women's Day, I'm excited to share this compelling journey and shed light on the positive transformations happening in the lives of women in Latin America.


Unveiling Pro Mujer's Holistic Approach


Our journey led us to Pro Mujer's León location in Nicaragua, where we discovered a powerhouse of empowerment for women. Imagine a place that feels like a fusion between a Planned Parenthood clinic and a credit union, offering not just financial support but comprehensive health services too. Like Planned Parenthood, Pro Mujer prioritizes preventative care, providing not only financial aid but also education to empower women to take control of their health.


With seven branch offices in Nicaragua, each boasting its medical team, Pro Mujer ensures that its clients have easy access to essential health services. From yearly physicals to well-woman exams and cancer screenings, Pro Mujer addresses the holistic needs of its clients.


Beyond Branch Offices: A Commitment to Community Outreach


What struck me most during our visit was Pro Mujer's commitment to reaching beyond its branch offices, actively providing health services in rural areas every two months. This dedication to community outreach reflects Pro Mujer's commitment to meeting the diverse needs of its clients. It's not just about a transaction; it's about building a support system that extends beyond the walls of a clinic or an office.


Financial Empowerment in Action


Pro Mujer's clients in action during a group lending meeting hosted in the home of one of the members.

Our journey with Pro Mujer delved even deeper into financial inclusion during a group lending meeting in León. Witnessing women managing businesses like clothing stores, shoe shops, nail salons, and pulperias coming together to empower each other economically was truly inspiring. Financial education at the start of each meeting added another layer of empowerment, emphasizing Pro Mujer's commitment to equipping women with the knowledge and skills to manage their businesses and finances effectively.


Stories of Resilience and Transformation


Pro Mujer's client and host for this group lending meeting.

The stories shared during the meeting were heartwarming. Entrepreneurs like Alma, with her clothing shop, spoke about the tangible improvements in their lives, like the new roof for the home where the meeting took place. These ladies have been with Pro Mujer's over the past eight years. When asked about alternatives lending options, the group members highlighted that Pro Mujer's interest rates were lower than those of other lenders underscoring the institution's commitment to fair and accessible financial services. "I never even consider other options, because Pro Mujer was the best choice," said the women who's home served as the groups meeting spot.


Despite facing challenges during the pandemic, these resilient entrepreneurs took on additional jobs. With the support of Pro Mujer, they're now turning a profit and building brighter futures for themselves and their communities.


Celebrating a Beacon of Hope


Our visit to Pro Mujer in León left me inspired by their multifaceted approach to transforming women's lives. Learning that the Leon branch alone serves over 6,000 clients solidified the impact of Pro Mujer and WCCN's partnership. As we celebrate International Women's Day, let's take a moment to recognize and support organizations like Pro Mujer that are making a tangible difference in the pursuit of gender equality and the well-being of women in Latin America.


This journey has been nothing short of empowering, and I am thrilled to be part of WCCN's mission to positively impact the lives of women, one partnership at a time. Here's to a future where women can reach their maximum potential and thrive in every aspect of their lives!


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