Self-sovereign financial empowerment and economic independence play a fundamental role in ensuring long-lasting impacts of equality and human rights in developing nations. In some nations, establishing national industries, large business communities and supply networks is the best way to cultivate resiliency, equality, and empowerment.
In other nations, giving individuals more control over their own finances and decision-making, giving them the opportunity to work from the ground up, has lasting impacts. At the same time, many countries experience a combination of the two, which leads to the greatest reduction in poverty and increases in overall access and equality.
Building financial inclusion into the process of developing equality is a key component of FINCA Canada’s mission. In partnership with the Government of Canada, FINCA Canada works to reduce poverty in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), putting financial empowerment at the core of solving inequality. FINCA Canada works to build a human-rights-based economy by providing underserved individuals, who have been historically side-lined in financial decision-making, increased access to financial services.
Human Rights Economics – a New Social Contract
On December 10, 2021, we celebrate Human Rights Day — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The principles of equality and non-discrimination are at the heart of human rights, and this includes addressing deep-rooted forms of discrimination that continue to affect vulnerable members of society. To boost equality in impoverished countries, FINCA Canada launched the Financial Inclusion Project, aimed to increase economic prosperity for low-income individuals – particularly women – in Haiti and the DRC by helping them grow their small businesses and increase their income.
Dedicated to assisting those who have been traditionally excluded from the traditional financial system due to structural discrimination, the Financial Inclusion Project offers financial services (from small business loans, savings plans, insurance, and mobile banking) to low-income individuals. This allows families and communities to build small businesses of their own, achieving sources of self-employment, income, and economic independence in their communities on their own terms. In Haiti and the DRC, more than 363,000 women have accessed financial services through FINCA Canada.
Rebuilding Equality Post-Pandemic
With the financial assistance of Global Affair Canada (GAC) and FINCA Canada, citizens in Haiti and the DRC have stepped into entrepreneurial leadership roles to better advance society in the post-pandemic world. Individuals like Kerlande and Annesse have provided hope in their communities by growing a school in Gonaives, Haiti. Using FINCA loans, they were able to build classrooms and invest in equipment, helping them successfully add a new grade every year.
In light of the pandemic, the school with 30 staff and more than 600 children enrolled from kindergarten through 10th grade faced closures and layoffs. Yet, with a mission to progress the basic human rights of education in Haiti, Kerlande, Annesse and FINCA Canada came together to ensure that students could continue learning in an environment that is as safe as possible. Staff were also able to safely return to work, giving them the opportunity to further support their families and make sure Haitian children are equipped with the necessary tools to foster long-term, life-long success.
Click here to learn more about FINCA Canada’s work to create more equitable access to financial services in developing countries and show your support for increasing financial education in impoverished communities.