When the brothers Carmelo and Antonio from the Dominican Republic borrowed a large sum of money from KOLPING for pineapple seedlings, they were sure they would soon be able to pay back the money. Selling the fruit would have earned well over twice the amount.
Then came the Corona virus, at harvest time of course, and the government imposed a complete curfew. The brothers could not employ any harvest helpers, and most of the fruit on their four hectares of land was rotting. “If I had borrowed the money from the bank, I would have lost my land because of the pandemic,” says Carmelo. “A normal bank would have insisted that I pay my debt on time, despite the extraordinary circumstances.” However, KOLPING decided, without much bureaucracy, that Carmelo and Antonio could pay back their loans as they go along. “KOLPING opens the doors for us poor people. The other banks are only there for the rich. Those who have nothing stay outside. But with KOLPING, you have confidence that the poor can also achieve something if you reach out to them.”
Last year, KOLPING was able to grant 35 micro credits in the Dominican Republic. They come from a revolving fund that the association has established with the Kolping Foundation for the granting of micro credits from subsidies in the last few years.