Microfinance Results in Laos

Khoutkeo's success with the microfinance project in Laos

In the first three years of the UUCS Microfinance Project, we successfully raised $13,000 to provide small loans to silk and bamboo weavers in two villages in Laos.

In the first three years, contributions from the UUCS-provided rotating loan fund in Laos of over $13,000 to artisans in two villages in Laos. Toward the end of that three year period, Carol Doolittle visited our two villages in Laos and interviewed 14 women who had received UUCS microcredit.

Clearly the microcredit provided by our contributions has enhanced the livelihoods of each of the recipients. The most impoverished now have housing, food, and can provide some schooling. Others, not so poor initially, now have solid houses and enough food to eat. They provide education to their children, and medical care and amenities like motorbikes and refrigerators for their families.

Some Success Stories From Laos

  • Khamkong’s Success Story Khamkong's Success StoryKhamkong is unmarried with no children and lives in Thaphosay Village, a twenty minute motorbike ride from Phonesong Village.  Two decades ago, her family migrated from a remote district. Almost as poor as Tiad and her husband, they had nothing when they arrived: no land and few possessions. Khamkong began silk weaving for sale when she was 18. Her father died a year later, leaving her and her mother to care for two brothers, one of them blind. Her mother hired herself out as a farm laborer while Khamkong wove. At various times, five or six nephews from even poorer ...
  • Tiad’s Success Story Tiad's Success StoryTiad lives in the tiniest, poorest house of all those we interviewed. She and her husband Kong weave baskets. Tiad and her husband married 4 years ago after serious financial difficulties where he lost his land and incurred major debt. They left their original village to start from scratch in Phonesong. When they arrived, they had no land, no place to stay, no kitchenware, nothing. Kong worked as a laborer for others while both wove baskets, joining the microlending group (supported by the microfinance project) when it was formed. Fortunately, their situation has improved. The loan was paid off last year, ...
  • Khoutkeo’s Success Story Khoutkeo's Success StoryKhoutkeo of Phonesong Village is a 33 years old farmer and bamboo basket weaver; she has two young teenagers. Her family cultivates rice. In addition, she grows fruit trees and vegetables, and raises ducks and chickens. As a result, her family does not have to buy much food. However, her husband is a construction worker, who is often gone 2-3 months at a time and unemployed during the rainy season. So, for much of the year, family cash comes from Khutkeo’s basket weaving. She started weaving baskets in 2000, at first using cheaper, lower quality bamboo and selling to a ...