'Sowing seeds...' is our micro-finance initiative extending across southern India, Central Asia and East Africa. Christians who face economic disadvantage and discrimination because of their faith, are given interest free loans to help them establish small businesses or purchase livestock in their community.
These small loans literally transform lives and lead to numerous benefits, including:
1) The restoration of dignity
2) The eradication of poverty, and
3) The building of bridges across communities.
The wonderful thing about this kind of project is that it is sustainable and it does not create dependency. Loans are granted, repaid and then ‘re-cycled' by being given out to another needy recipient.
In a nutshell, Steadfast Global offers a hand up not a hand-out!
On average micro-loan recipients receive the equivalent of £100, with the loan being repaid within 24 months. Here are some examples of the types of loan we facilitate.
Making gardens Grow!
Pastor Ramkrishna Naik received a loan which enabled him to drill a bore-well to provide ready access to a fresh supply of water for his home and church.
As well as providing for the needs of the family, the water supply is used to propagate their vegetable garden.
The vegetables are bought by travelling merchants who visit his home to make the purchases. The bore-well has led to a welcome increase in his income, which in turn has led to a marked improvement in this family's daily living conditions.
Helping Evangelists to sew!
Mariappa is an evangelist in a rural area of southern India. He requested a loan so that he could purchase a sewing machine to help supplement his income and support his ministry. In common with many converts from Hinduism, Mariappa faced rejection from fellow villagers, but his tailoring micro-enterprise has now turned this situation around! Proving that 'Sowing seeds...' does build bridges across communities, he shares that for many years no one listened to his gospel message but now, fellow villagers and even some from neighbouring villages, come to him as he is the only tailor in the vicinity. His micro-loan has led directly to a growth in opportunities to share the gospel, as well as a renewed respect for him within his own community.
Causing darkness to go!
In developing nations where the sun sets early and electricity supplies are erratic to say the least, candles are still a nightly necessity in most homes.
One of our more popular and most productive micro-loan enterprises is candle making.
A considerable number of Christians have now received loans to purchase aluminium candle moulds. Candle wax and wicks are then purchased in bulk, enabling candles in a variety of sizes to be produced quickly and efficiently. The finished products are then sold on at a profit to individuals and small shops.
These are just some of our existing loans. 'Sowing seeds...' has also enabled a bicycle repair business to open, an existing market kitchen to grow, and we are now issuing loans for the purchase of sheep, goats and chickens.
All of these God glorifying, poverty breaking and life-changing ventures are being launched with an individual investment which is less than the average weekly shopping bill for a family here in Scotland.
It's simple and it works! Why not change lives with us?