Developing and fostering relationships has always been an integral part of our mission at Philanthropiece. Recently we have taken interesting steps forward in the development of our Community Banks Program by strengthening relationships with other organizations operating in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Having already inspired over 300 individuals in communities throughout the region to begin a culture of savings and loans, our collaborations have now opened new outlets for a more targeted vision of saving.
We are currently in conversations with COBI (Comunidad y Biodiversidad), a civil association in Mexico dedicated to the conservation of coastal biodiversity throughout the country. COBI is managing a project on Isla Magdalena, located off the western coast of Baja California Sur, dedicated to the sustainable reconstruction of a community devastated by Hurricane Jimena in 2009. COBI has partnered with another Mexican organization called ¡Échale! a tu casa that trains community residents in the use of adobe block production using local materials. COBI and ¡Echale! a tu casa have developed a program that will train people in new construction skills, boost the local economy, create solid, affordable homes for families, and protect local ecosystems. They are also determined to empower community members to generate the necessary funds to buy into this project themselves. The missing piece is a well-structured methodology for encouraging families to save for their houses, and that is where Philanthropiece’s Community Banks program comes into play.