BRANCH OF THE VINCENTIAN FAMILY INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT: US: CM, DC, SC, LOC, SSVP
NAME OF SYSTEMIC CHANGE PROJECT: ZAFÈN
PROJECT ADDRESS: Haiti
CONTACT PERSON: Robert Maloney, CM
LENGTH OF TIME THE PROJECT/PROGRAM HAS BEEN IN EXISTENCE: 2009
In 2009, the international leadership of the Vincentian Family, which encompasses all those who find inspiration from the life and the legacy of St. Vincent de Paul, joined Haitian microfinance institution Fonkoze to initiate a pilot project that would enable people worldwide to loan or donate to businesses in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest on earth.
Zafèn, an online micro financing project was established with the objective of having a positive impact on Haiti’s economic, social and physical environment by providing micro, small and medium sized enterprises with enhanced access to capital. Zafèn strives to achieve this aim through:
– Showcasing business projects that have been subject to a due diligence pre-screen for community impact;
– Providing online access through a secure, easy and reliable mechanism for reviewing and selecting profiles for loans or donations;
– Offering Haitian entrepreneurs micromentoring opportunities through which to nurture their ideas toward sustainability and, ultimately, self-sufficiency.