WCCN's 2014 Annual Report: A Future of Opportunities

In 2014, we had many historic and rewarding moments.  We celebrated the 30th anniversary of WCCN and surpassed $100 million cumulatively invested since 1991 in the people and communities of Latin America, reaching 34,869 working poor farmers, microentrepreneurs and women during the year.  That proudly reflects a tradition of caring, compassion, commitment and partnership begun by all of you 30 years ago.  Download our full 2014 Annual Report by clicking the image below.

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A Year of Opportunities

One of the biggest challenges and opportunities in 2014 was the decision of WCCN to expand our fair trade coffee financing in the year of la roya, the coffee rust fungus epidemic that plagued much of rural Latin America.   We saw the situation of rising food and income insecurity for tens of thousands of poor farmers and how it was fueling civil unrest and protest, exacerbated by the fact that few were willing to extend these farmers credit when they needed it most.   As a result, we increased our investment and other support to small-scale, fair trade farmers.

Two out of the eight fair trade agriculture loans made this year became ‘troubled’ loans, meaning two of our partners could not repay us in full in 2014 and needed extra time to pay us back.  Partnership often means being patient, when needed.   WCCN provided the additional time and conditions to our partners, but this resulted in a net income loss on our books in 2014, a historical first for WCCN.

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Enrique Espirtu Andres, pictured above with his mother wearing their traditional clothing, is an organic coffee farmer and member of WCCN fair trade agriculture partner Mountain Coffee. The higher price he receives for his coffee through Mountain Coffee membership has enabled him to send his three children to school.  WCCN has provided both loans and grants for technical assistance to Mountain Coffee.
Photo by Michael Kienitz

A Future of Opportunities

As part of our ongoing strategic planning, including in 2014, WCCN launched an extensive interview process to ask our community partners, our micro-borrowers and their families what they found helpful and what they needed most from WCCN as they look ahead.

The interview responses provided rewarding moments for WCCN.  We listened to 18-year-old Jefrin Rosales, who told us how he remembers being only four years old when his father took their first family microloan for their farming business from longtime WCCN partner PRODESA, in Nicaragua.  Jefrin explained what it meant for him in terms of increased opportunity and quality of life. WCCN wants to help these families build on the progress that they have made and invest in their own future by expanding our Capital for Communities Fund (C4C Fund) in 2015-2016.  Under two new C4C Fund programs, WCCN believes it can help those microborrowers that have years of a solid repayment history to tap into this next level of opportunity.

We have seen by our results in 2014 that although our investments are sometimes risky, they certainly are rewarding.  It is this investment in people and their talents, provided by a trusted partner, that helps create the opportunity for a better life - a life of hope that has positive social and economic change within reach.  On behalf of families like the Rosales family and the more than 34,000 other families that we reached in 2014, thank you for being the change and for making a difference. We look forward to your continued support in 2015 and beyond.

Happy Reading,

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Nancy Metzger, Executive Director

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Jefrin Rosales, 18, pictured above, remembers how hard life was because his family only had enough food for one meal per day. He watched as microloans to his father and other support from PRODESA helped his family grow enough fruits and vegetables to eat regularly and sell any extra produce at the local market for additional income.  As he watched his father’s microlending experience, he learned to value hard work, responsibility, and his own education.  Photo courtesy of PRODESA

You can view and download our complete 2014 audited financial statements on our website by clicking here or visiting our Accountability pageQuestions about our 2014 Audit or Annual Report?  This is your WCCN.  We are more than happy to answer any and all questions.  Reply to this e-mail, call 608-257-7230, or contact us via our website.

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