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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Whole Planet Foundation

Here at Bikram Yoga SLC, we are proud to be in support of poverty alleviation. We are pleased to announce that beginning this Saturday, and every 4th Saturday of the month thereafter, from the 10am class we will be donating $1 of each member's fees toward the Whole Planet Foundation.

If you would like to help impoverished women have better lives for themselves and their children, you can give a much appreciated a tax-deductible monetary donation in any amount by clicking on this link:

Whole Planet Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization established by Whole Foods Market. Microcredit (small loans) empowers very poor women living in communities that supply Whole Foods Market stores with their product to use their own energy and creativity to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Through Whole Planet Foundation, small loans – usually $300 or less and with no collateral or contract – provide entrepreneurial women with an opportunity to create or expand a home-based business to change their own lives.

Vijayakumari is a microcredit client of Grameen India. With her first loan she was able to make her own loom and with her second, she bought additional supplies to expand her business. Her dream is to be able to pay for her daughter's marriage.

Salome, left, is a microcredit client of MicroLoan Foundation in Malawi. She is a 32 year old mother of six children, four of which are hers and four of which are AIDs orphans she’s adopted. She lives in a one room hut in a rural area, many miles from the nearest town. In the past Salome struggled to feed, clothe and care for her children, and herself. With her microcredit loan her yield per acre has quadrupled, she has been able to purchase fundamental farming tools, she can afford to send all six children to secondary school and she is equipped with essential farming and business skills.

Nagamma is a microcredit client in Kerala, India, where Whole Foods Market sources cashews. She is 55 years old and on her second loan. Her first loan of $100 was to start a tea shop and her second loan of $160 is to raise goats and chickens. Now her husband is working in the tea shop but her son is still a day laborer. Nagamma’s hope is to see her family in better condition in the future. She heard about the opportunities of microcredit from other members in her village.

Roselene is a microcredit client of WPF partner Fonkoze in Haiti where Whole Foods Market sources mangoes. Roselene is 57 years old with 9 children ranging from 12 to 35, and a total of 10 grandchildren. Roselene was a victim of the hurricanes and storms that ravaged Haiti in 2008, and with the help of Fonkoze, was able to restart her business and rebuild her life. In the 2010 earthquake, Roselene again lost everything. “I had some things at my home, and I have my Fonkoze bank account. I am starting again with the little merchandize I have left.” She lives in the tent city, where she has restarted her business again with the assistance of Fonkoze. “My Fonkoze credit agent came to see me a couple of days after the quake, I knew he had lost his home as well, but he was there reassuring me that we will make it.” That, she said is also a big reason she will not give up. Roselene will put her business and life back in place. She finds strength because she knows she is a “member of a group of women who have been given second chances, but with Fonkoze, we keep getting these chances whenever we think all is lost.”

Women who can't get loans from banks because they don't have credit, have a re-payment of 97%. This money gets recycled as a new loan over and over again. Above is a group of borrowers getting ready to repay their loans in Malawi.

Looking forward to seeing lots of your smiling faces in class this Saturday at 10am!

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