September Microcredit Club Update

U-City Microcredit Club held a virtual meeting on September 30th. We made 9 loans totaling $925, as follows:

Seluvaia lives on the island of 'Eua, Tonga. She weaves taovala and mats to sell. She is borrowing $1,075 to plant pandanus and to pay other women to weave mats for her. We loaned $50.

Nidal is a farmer who lives in Jenin City, West Bank, Palestine. He is borrowing $1,975 to purchase an irrigation system, seeds, fertilizer and pesticides. We loaned $100.

The Morenga Group is three ladies who live in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. Fati makes and sells traditional clothing made of bazin (a traditional African fabric). The group is is borrowing $1,175. Fati will use her portion of the loan to purchase bazin in bulk in order to reduce her costs and increase her market. We loaned $125.

Malati lives in Murshidabad, India and runs a Toto (a battery operated three wheeled rickshaw). Her rickshaw is old and needs repairs and a new battery. She is borrowing $300. We loaned $100.

The DI Ndeme Group is five woman who live in Senegal. Khady buys lambs in the market and feeds them to sell. The group is borrowing $3,175. Khady will use her portion of the loan to purchase more lambs. We loaned $150.

Haja lives West Point, Liberia where she operates a business selling rice and oil. She is borrowing $250 to purchase more product to sell. We loaned $50.

The Tikawasi Group is 14 women who live high in the Andes in CUSCO, Peru. The group is borrowing $6,450. Lourdes sells roses, carnations and other flowers. She will use her portion of loan to buy more flowers to sell. We loaned $50.

Tausili is married with 10 children and lives in Maninoa, Samoa. She sells bananas and taro and is borrowing $750 to buy banana tube, taro roots, a wheelbarrow, a water tank, hand gloves, a rake and a shovel. This will enable her to raise her own products. We loaned $150.

The Belen De Marcaraconga Group is five women and two men who live in Sicuani-canas, also high in the mountains of Peru. The group is borrowing $2,175. Lucia sells cheeses. She will use her portion of the loan to purchase more cheeses to sell. We loaned $150.

Thank you for your continued interest and support.

An Update from Health Protection & Education Services

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Isuru and his wife are a young couple who grew up in Sri Lanka.  Sri Lanka is an independent island nation located in the Indian Ocean just southeast of the tip of the Indian subcontinent. Isuru and his wife came to the United States because she is working to obtain her PhD in Physics at Washington University.

Isuru began experiencing health issues, and he heard about Health Protection & Education Services (HPES) through a friend.  He came to a screening conducted in January 2019 at the University City Library, received extensive testing, spoke with volunteer physician Dr. Thomas Blanke and received a follow-up referral for services at People’s Health Center.  Isuru not only received medical care at People’s Health Center; he was also prescribed medications that he purchased at very low cost. And, through the generous financial contributions from foundations, HPES paid the cost of the co-pay for his first visit to the medical clinic because Isuru and his wife lacked the means to do so.

At its core, the purpose of HPES is to save lives and ease the suffering of people caught in acute crises. For many, this assistance restores their ability to rebuild their lives and their communities.  Each third Saturday of the month, volunteer physicians, nurses, pharmacists, other medical personnel and non-medical personnel come together for these reasons.

July Microcredit Club Update

The U-City Microcredit Club held a virtual meeting on July 16 and made twelve loans for a total of $1500, as follows:

The Fatem Group consists of three women who are refugees from Syria now living in Lebanon. The group is borrowing $1,800. Hiyam is the featured borrower of the group. She will use her portion of the loan to purchase a sewing machine in order to do custom sewing for her customers. We loaned the group $125.

Nary is a married woman who lives in Siem Reap, Cambodia. She and her husband have been selling fried corn for about three years. She is borrowing $750 in order to buy more corn to sell as well as a carriage to carry her corn to market. We loaned $150.

The Tiporguin Group is four ladies who live in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. The group is borrowing $1,550. Habibata will use her portion of the loan to buy onions to resell in the market. We loaned $150.

Rosa is a 24 year old single mother who lives in Solola, Guatemala. She is part of the three member Grupo Las Aguilas de Patzulin Group that is borrowing $1,775. For the last five years, Rosa has had a business buying and selling traditional clothing in the market. She will use her portion of the loan to buy guipiles (blouses), fajas (belts) and cortes (skirts). We loaned the group $150

Virginia is 53 years old, married with a family. For the last eight years, she has been buying yucca to sell. She is one of four members of the Grupo La Familia Herrera Pajales Group, all of whom live in Solola, Guatemala. The group is borrowing $1,050. Virginia will use her share of the loan to purchase more yucca to sell. We loaned $50.

Ousmane is a merchant who lives in Oagadougou, Burkina Faso. He also operates a workshop and sells kitchen utensils. He is borrowing $1,400 to purchase a large quantity of aluminum and ten sacks of coal with which to melt the aluminum. He will then produce pots and ladles to sell to his customers. We loaned $150.

Janert is a member of the Gs Alfa Group, three persons who are immigrants from Haiti now living in La Romana, Dominican Republic. The group is borrowing borrowing $600. Janert left Haiti 14 years ago and works as a driver. In order to supplement his income, he is also starting a business selling shoes, sandals, flip-flops, etc. He will use his portion of the loan to buy shoes, etc, to sell. We loaned $125.

The Maria Auxiliadora Group functions as a trust bank. The seven members meet monthly, at which time they make loan payments and participate in educational sessions in business, women's issues, family and health care. The group is borrowing $4,225. Antonia owns a sewing business. She employs three other people, including her husband, and has five sewing machines. Production is increasing and she needs another sewing machine. She will use her portion of the loan to purchase an industrial sewing machine. We loaned $150

Gladys lives in El Alto, Bolivia and makes back packs. She is borrowing $1,025 to replace her old and broken cutting machine with a new one which will increase her efficiency and production. We loaned $150.

The Vitoria X group is four persons who live in Santo Andre, Brazil. The group is borrowing $2,300. Claudia is the leader of the group and operates several businesses. She does party catering, sells sweets and ice cream door to door, and also works doing house cleaning. She will use her portion of the loan to purchase balloons for party decorations, assorted ice creams, milk and flour for making snacks, etc. We loaned $100.

Priscilla lives in Buakonikai, Fiji and sells kerosene and benzene. Fuels in Fiji are difficult to acquire and are particularly important in rural areas. Priscilla understands the importance and demand for fuel and has a stand near a school and several small settlements. She is borrowing $600 to refill her drums of fuel, purchase a pump, storage bottles and a funnel. We loaned $50.

Hoa lives in 06 Dong Son, Thanh Hoa, VietNam. She operates a business selling dried food. She is borrowing $1,300 to purchase a kind of dried pancake to sell. The need for this product is high and the demand is strong. We loaned $150. This loan was number 750 and also enabled us to reach $60,000 in loans made.

Thanks for your support.

May Microcredit Club Update

The U-City Microcredit Club has made 11 loans in May, totaling $1,300, as follows:

The Fidelidade Group is four ladies who live in Diadema, Brazil. The group is borrowing $3,450. Ilma, the leader of the group, repairs and sells electronic devises. She will use her portion of the loan to purchase additional tools with which to provide additional services. We loaned $100.

Justino owns and operates a sauna in Cusco, Peru. He is borrowing $925 to purchase herbs, aromatics, etc for the business. We loaned $150.

The Kora Cb Group is 16 persons from Rwanda who are collectively borrowing $6,725. Jeannette, the spokesperson for the group, has been selling foodstuffs for the last eight years. She will use her portion of the loan to purchase bananas and Irish potatoes for resale to her customers. We loaned $100.

Alymkan lives in Jany-Joi village, Kyrgystan and works as cook in a local school. For the last ten years, she has been raising livestock in order to supplement her income. She is borrowing 120,000 som (KGS), about $1,725, in order to purchase more calves. We loaned $100.

Loretta lives with her family in a rural community just outside Honaria, the capital of the Solomon Islands. She has a cacao drying business in which she dries wet cacao beans and sells them to local exporters. She is borrowing $850 in order to buy additional spades, netting, wires and wet beans. We loaned $50.

Michelle lives in Victorias, Negros Occidental, Philippines. She has a fish vending business and is borrowing PHP 20,000 ($400) in order to buy more fish to sell. We loaned $150.

Sothea lives in Battambang, Cambodia where she and her husband buy and sell beef sausage. She is challenged by having no specific place to sell her goods so she is borrowing 3,000,000 KHR in order to buy a carriage to carry her goods to the market. We loaned $150.

The Las Responsables Group is seven ladies who live in Coatepeque, Guatemala. The group is borrowing $3,550. Elida is the president of the group. She sells shoes, clothes, tupperware accessories and silver ware. With her portion of the loan, she will buy more silver accessories and clothing. We loaned $150.

The Independencia Group is four ladies who live in Santo Andre, Brazil. The group is borrowing $2,200. Sonia is a hairdresser and does nails in a salon next to her home. She will use her portion of the loan to purchase enamels, cotton and acetone. We loaned $125.

Mercedita lives near Barili, Cebu, Phillipines. She is 43 years old with nine children and she raises pigs. She is borrowing PHP 30,000 ($575) to purchase feed and other supplies to support her pigs. We loaned $150.

Sarvinoz is 19 years old and lives in Sharistan, Tajikistan. She embroiders fabrics and clothes in a type of traditional embroidery called gulduzi. She has been doing this for two years and receives many orders. She is borrowing $750 in order to purchase a large quantity of needles and fabric. We loaned $75.

As always, thanks for your support and prayers.

April Microcredit Club Update

The UCity Microcredit Club held a virtual meeting on April 11 and made 10 loans for a total of $825, as follows:

Diogo operates a general store in Manututo, Timor-Leste. He is borrowing $1,000 to buy more stock for his store. We loaned $75.

Bafel lives in Qana, Lebanon. He is a Syrian refugee and has run his own mosaic art shop since 2014.  He is borrowing $1,000 to purchase more art to sell. We loaned $100.

Maria Elena lives in Tela, Atlantida, Honduras. She sells stainless steel jewelry as a traveling merchant and also takes orders. She has been in business for three years and is borrowing $425 to purchase more jewelry to sell. We loaned $100.

Sally lives in Tuaefu, Samoa. She creates and sells elei printed material. She is borrowing $500 to purchase material, fabric paint, stencils, brushes, rollers, wooden carved designs, etc., in order to produce her materials. We loaned Sally $100.

Pedro Claver is a fruit farmer in Arequipa, Peru. He is borrowing $1,525 to plant more avocado plants in order to increase his production. We loaned $100.

Ghenadie is 38 years old and lives in Vulpesti village in the Ungheni region of Moldova. Five years ago he decided to start his own carpentry business. His first project was a simple door which was so well done that it made him famous in his village. He does beautiful work but his woodworking machine has failed, so he can no longer work. He is borrowing $875 to purchase an engine for his machine so that he can fill orders and get back to work. We loaned $100.

Kokou lives in Kegue, Togo and is a boiler maker. He makes the boilers from aluminum and other scrap materials. He is borrowing $625 in order to buy more scrap. Kokou has had loans in the past and has paid them all timely. We loaned him $50.

The Grupo Patzulin Los Hermanos is three persons - Isabela, Manuela and Miguel - from Suchitepequez, Guatemala. They are borrowing $475. Isabela buys and sells tomatoes and will use her portion of the loan to purchase more tomatoes to sell. We loaned the group $100.

Abdul is from Port Loko, Sierra Leone. He runs a Vitafoam business and sells different models of mattresses from a store in his community. He is borrowing $575 to purchase more mattresses to increase his business. We loaned $50.

Fatma lives in Turkey and makes and sells tulle curtains.  She has had several loans in the past and has always paid them off. She is borrowing $450 with which to purchase tulle fabric in bulk. We loaned $50.

Thank you for your support.

Shop at Schnucks? Put Earned Rewards towards the Open Door Food Pantry!

Any time you shop at Schnucks, you can apply the calculated "Schnucks Rewards" from your purchase toward the Open Door Food Pantry's (ODFP) weekly food costs!

It is simple to do. At checkout, you are asked (by the checker or by the automated system in self check-out) if you are a member of the Schnucks Rewards program. At that point, enter the church's main number (314-863-8055) on the keypad. These rewards will be available for our volunteer shoppers IF you tell the checker you do NOT want to use the rewards at the time of your purchase. Rewards earned are approximately 2% of your bill before tax. Our pantry’s volunteer shoppers then enter the church's number and apply all rewards to the pantry’s bill!

This is a painless and easy way for individuals to donate anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars to the pantry each week. Restocking the pantry costs ~$300 to $500 every week, so every penny counts! The Open Door Food Pantry Committee and our hungry neighbors appreciate all you do to support this mission.

Health Protection and Education Services (HPES) News

The American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation and its Board of Directors recently selected HPES as an award recipient for their 2018-2019 Community Health Grant program. HPES was one of only seven nonprofit organizations to receive this recognition as the best organization for diabetes screening, prevention, and education, nationwide. Congratulations!

UUMC members Dr. Bob and Jane Paine founded and our congregation continues to support Health Protection and Education Services (HPES).  HPES provides free health screenings one Saturday morning each month at the U-City Library in the Delmar Loop. Additional free services include education and treatment referrals, mammograms, sickle cell testing, and free STD, HIV and AIDS testing.

HPES consists of volunteer medical professionals, including doctors, dentists, nurses, medical technicians and health educators and medical students. Non-medical volunteers greet, keep records, and help as needed. 

Microcredit Club Update

The UCity Microcredit Club met virtually on February 25 and made 10 loans totaling $925, as follows:

The Itaqua Group is 16 persons who live and work in Sao Paolo, Brazil.  They are borrowing $1,950. Laurentino is the leader of the group.  He has owned a grocer store for 10 years and will use his portion of the loan to purchase rice, beans, fruits, vegetables, cold cuts and cleaning items to sell in his store.  We loaned $100.

The Abadasigana Acb Group is 15 persons who live in Ruanda. They are borrowing $5,300. Alphred is the leader of the group and has run his timber business for the past 21 years.  He will use his portion of the loan to purchase more timber to sell at the local market.  We loaned $75.

Khaled is a Syrian refugee who moved to Lebanon in 2011.  He is a house painter and is borrowing $1,200 with which to buy scaffolding and wood to better serve his customers.  We loaned $100.

Tulizana Group is a large group of persons (19) who live in Goma, North Kivu province, Congo (DRC), one of the most war-torn areas of the country.  The group is borrowing $3,150.

Angela operates a kiosk in a popular area of the city where she sells a variety of things.  She will use her portion of the loan to purchase a box of soap, 10 kg of sugar, biscuits, milk, slippers, oil and other products to sell in her kiosk.  We loaned $100.

Dalal is in the middle and is standing in the doorway of her tent. We loaned $100.

Dalal is in the middle and is standing in the doorway of her tent. We loaned $100.

Majmouat Al Kheir Group is three Syrian refugee women who live in Marjeyoun, Lebanon. The group is borrowing  $1,800.  Dalal has been a hair dresser and makeup artist since she fled to Lebanon in 2012 with her husband and eight children. They currently live in a tent and experience hard living conditions.  She will use her portion of the loan to make necessary repairs to the tent.

Francois lives in Cameroon and, for the past 20 years, has been operating a corn processing shop.  He has a good business but his customers needs are growing and he is the only business like his in the city.  He is borrowing $875 to purchase a new crusher to keep up with customer demand.  We loaned $50.

Mrs Da is an ethnic minority living in a mountainous region of Thanh Hoa Province, Viet Nam.The region is very poor and suffers often from disasters such as flooding and drought.  Da raises cattle and is borrowing $650 to buy calves to raise and sell.  We loaned $100.

Guadalupe has been a fisherwoman for three years.  She lives with her family in Baybay City, Leyte, Phillippines.  She is borrowing PHP 10,000 ($200) to purchase fishing nets, gasoline and other fishing supplies.  We loaned $100.

Katherine Gabriella owns and operates an opthalmology clinic with her sister in Gotera, El Salvador, about a one hour bus ride from her home.  She is borrowing $200 to purchase a desk in order to better serve her clients.  We loaned $100.

The Port-Fortaleza Group is nine women and one man who live in Portovieteo, Ecuador.  The group is borrowing $5,475. Monseratte de Jesus is a tailor who lives with her husband (a master painter) and four children. She makes all kinds of garments but prefers garments for women and children.  We loaned $100.

Thank you for your support and your continued interest.

February U-City Microcredit Club Update

The U-City Microcredit Club held a virtual meeting on February 4 and made 9 loans totaling $800, as follows:

The Grupo Sector Cocales Group consists of three woman who live in Suchitepequez, Guatemala, in the  basin of Lake Atitla, one of the poorest regions of the country. On June 3, 2018, the whole area was engulfed by lava flows from Vilcan Fuego. More than 100 people lost their lives, and at the time the loan was made, 200 more were missing and an additional 4,000 had been evacuated.  The group is borrowing $600. Marta has run a business on one of the main streets of the community, selling blouse for 7 years. She will use her portion of the loan to purchase more blouses for resale. We loaned the group $75.

Bridgid's Group is 13 persons who live in Webuye, Kenya. The group is borrowing $650. Bridgid will use her portion of the loan to buy hybrid seeds and fertilizer in order to grow a corn crop on her six acres. She will also purchase two  solar lights, enabling her  children to study at night. We loaned the group $75.

Manuela is 40 years old, married with three children, and lives in Manatuto, Timor-Leste. Since 2017, she has operated a kiosk where many people come to buy goods every day. She is borrowing $500, which she will use to buy biscuits, eggs, milk, fish, sugar, coffee, salt, cigarettes, and slippers. She also will buy a refrigerator to keep drinks cold.  We loaned $75,

Dalmacio is 38 years old and lives on his own farm in the Northern region of Peru. He is dedicated to the cultivating of Catimor coffee. He is borrowing $450 to purchase fertilizer and to pay his part-time employees. We loaned $100.

The Saala Women Savings Group is 3 women who live in Mbale town, Uganda. They are borrowing $825.  Harriet operates a small shop in a shopping center selling spare parts for motorcycles. She will use her portion of the loan to stock more parts. We loaned $75.

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Sobia is thirty eight years old and lives in Sheikhupura, Pakistan. For the last seven years, her family has been involved in the transportation business using a motorized rickshaw (as pictured). She is borrowing $300  to pay for repairs to the rickshaw as well as to buy new tires and spare parts. We loaned $100.

The Mujeres Valientes Group is 17 persons from Santani, Paraguay. They are borrowing $3,175. Maria makes a living selling plant pots. She will use her portion of the loan to purchase more plant pots to sell. We loaned the group  $100.

The For Christ Group is three men who live in Chorkor, Ghana. As a group, they are borrowing $925. David owns an automobile repair parts store and has been selling auto parts for 19 years. He will use his portion of the loan to purchase more spare parts. We loaned $100.

Ammouna and Zainab are two Syrian refugees who live in Jib Jennine, Lebanon, and are borrowing $1,000.  Ammouna has run her own tailoring business since 2013. She will use her portion of the loan to buy textiles and fabrics. We loaned $100.

Thank you for your support.

U-City Microcredit Club Update

The U-City Microrcredit Club held a virtual meeting on December 30 to loan out our remaining funds before the year’s end.  We made 13 loans, totaling $1,100 as follows:

The Sabunyuma Group is 4 men who live in SANKE, Mali. They are borrowing $2,175. Kassim is 39 years old with 5 children and is illiterate. He purchases calves, fattens them, and sells them in the market. He will use his portion of the loan to purchase an ox to feed and sell. We loaned $50.

Lamberto is a 30 year old married man who lives in Oe-Cusse, Timor Leste. He started a business selling fuel a few years ago and has done well because he has a good location alongside the road. He is borrowing $400 to purchase more fuel so that he does not run out and not be able to serve his customers.  We loaned $100.

The Unidos Do Juscelino Group is 4 four young people (3 women and 1 man) who live in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  They are borrowing $1,650. Ana owns her own beauty shop and will be using her portion of the loan to purchase disposable materials, sterilization and hygiene products, eyebrow tweezers, and cotton. We loaned $50.

The Mujeres del Padre Winkel Group is a large group of 18 ladies who live in Encarnacion, Paraguay. Hermelinda sells ice cream. She is successful because the weather is very hot, and her ice cream is very popular. She will use her portion of the loan to buy additional flavors of ice cream in order to meet the demands of her customers. We loaned $100.

Knarik is a trained agronomist who lives with her husband and two sons in Dvin Village, Armenia. On her farm, they keep chickens and raise cabbages, tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries. She then sells the produce in the local market. She is borrowing $2,000 in order to buy additional land and increase her production of vegetables and fruits. We loaned $100.

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Tumpa is a 23 year old married woman with two children who lives in North Dinajpur, India. She and her husband purchase paddy grain directly from the fields, clean it, and pack it in sacks to sell in the market.  Together, they make about $100 per month. She is borrowing $300 in order to purchase more grain, sacks, rope, etc. in order to expand the business. We loaned $100.

Magneta is married with three children and lives in Migori, Kenya, where she operates a used shoe business. She has a good location, and most of her customers are local. She is borrowing $300 in order to purchase more used shoes. We loaned $50.

Marta Paula is 58 years old and lives in LaFlecha, Honduras, with her common-law husband and a grandchild. She operates a pineapple plantation near her home and sells the pineapples to retailers in the area. She is borrowing 20,000 lempiras ($825) to purchase fertilizer and manure to increase production and improve the land. We loaned $100.

Hoan is 59 years old, married with two children, and lives in Yen Dinh, Thanh Hoa, VietNam. She has operated a food stall/ restaurant selling rice noodles for 10 years and is borrowing $1,075 to purchase materials to maintain her restaurant. This is her seventh loan. We loaned $100.

The Boda Boda Jinja Group is three young people who live in Jinja, Uganda. They are borrowing $375. Fazima operates a small restaurant. She will use her portion of the loan to purchase a small refrigerator to enable her to expand her menu by selling soft drinks. We loaned $100.

Karam is a 51 year old woman who lives with her husband in Muzaffargahr, Pakistan, in a brick house with electricity, drinking water, and plumbing. Her embroidery business is very famous in the area. She faces a high demand for wedding dresses and is borrowing $525 in order to purchase thread, fancy cloth, sequins, and pearls.  We loaned $100.

Jasica is 23 years old, single, and lives with her parents in their rented apartment in Berj Hammoud, Lebanon. She has been working as a makeup artist in her home for six years and is known for providing a unique product at a competitive price. She has also worked in a beauty salon for the last four years to earn additional money. She is borrowing $1,025 to purchase additional cosmetics, lipsticks, wax bottles, mousse, and pins. We loaned $75.

Gerlie is 36  years old, married with a 15 year old child. They live in Concepcion, Iloilo, Italy. She and her husband have been fishers for many years. She is borrowing $250 to purchase a new  engine for her boat. We loaned $75.

Thanks to each of you for supporting our activities this year.  We had a very successful year and will be producing our Annual Report in the month or two.

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year.