By Matt Raimondi, KF11
It’s not often that clients of an MFI get recognized for their successes and for being loyal clients. However, recently FAMA, a new Kiva partner in Honduras, began holding premiaciones (award ceremonies) for their clients. The first premiacion was held a few weeks ago at FAMA’s headquarters in Juticalpa, Olancho, Honduras. In typical Honduran fashion, I was not told about the event until the day of when everyone was running around frantically setting up for the event. Thankfully as a rule of thumb, Kiva Fellows always have a camera on hand.
The premiacion was the first of its kind to be put on by FAMA and 50 clients were invited from around Juticalpa to be recognized at the event. The recipients were chosen using various criteria such as having a long history with FAMA, making payments on time and showing stellar progress through growing their business or improving their standard of living. Clients began showing up around 10am dressed in their Sunday best and all were given a name tag and took a seat. All but 4 of the invited clients attended and many brought their children. There was even a camera crew from the local news station. Once everyone had taken their seats the Executive Director of FAMA, Eloisa, spoke to the group thanking them for being exemplary clients and congratulating them on their accomplishments. Everyone was served lunch and presented with a certificate and some prize money as recognition of their accomplishments and FAMA’s gratitude. The look of pride on many clients faces was priceless.
In addition, the recipients broke into small groups and discussed what they like and disliked about FAMA, writing each thought on a piece of paper. Upon completion they aggregated all of the pieces of paper and put them on a large poster. The Executive Director and other Managers discussed each of the items and how FAMA can address them. Hondurans are naturally shy but the small groups facilitated open sharing of honest opinions and created a lively discussion. It was great to see the management of FAMA interacting with their clients and openly discussing client likes and dislikes of the institution. The discussion was a great way to gather feedback and the idea is that the client’s ideas will be taken into consideration as FAMA works to improve their products and offer the best service possible to its clients.
Throughout the summer FAMA will be putting on premiaciones at the other branches throughout Honduras. It was a wonderful celebration to witness and a great example of microfinance working to improve the lives of those who do not have access to traditional financial services.
Matt Raimondi is currently serving as a Kiva Fellow at FAMA OPDF in Juticalpa, Olancho, Honduras. FAMA OPDF is a pilot Field Partner and recently posted their first Kiva loans. Click here to support FAMA OPDF by making a loan to one of our entrepreneurs. Click here for more information on FAMA OPDF.