The Lulu Tree prevents tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s families through the local church — which includes providing microloans for building up capital.
Most women in Africa struggle to make ends meet not because they don’t work hard enough — they work sunup to sundown, trying to sell fuel or purchasing a few items from the market to sell in their village, or doing neighbors’ washing, or selling whatever food they grow in their garden — but because they don’t receive fair wages or fair opportunities. This unfairness makes it difficult to help provide for their children, and may mean they have to give their children away.
By partnering with pastors across Africa, our desire is to encourage women in the church as they seek to support their families. We do this by offering a microloan program through the pastors.
The pastors train up the women in business skills, and each week the women give back a little of their loan. For the first few months, however, whatever money they give back is put into a “pot” and once a month, each women receives that “pot” as a free gift, a boost, towards her business. Once a woman has received the pot, she then begins to pay back double — partially towards the pot, and partially towards her loan. Once every woman has received the pot, it starts over again, long after the loan has been paid off.
Every microloan recipient is expected to use her profits to tithe regularly, thus supporting her church and her pastor.
Hundreds of families and dozens of villages in Uganda, South Sudan, Sierra Leone and Liberia have benefited from The Lulu Tree microloan program and business training.
Microloans extend a hand up, investing in a family business and thus giving parents the honor of providing for their own.