Extended Family International (EFI) is a non-profit organization that provides microfinancing at no interest to families in need so they can rebuild homes. Currently the organization works within the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where people cannot take out interest based loans due to religious restrictions. These are all hard working people with a drive to provide for families. Yet, due to the devastation that Saddam’s regime caused many of the Kurds along with other restrictions, most people have not had the opportunity to make this possible. Therefore, it is EFI’s goal to raise awareness and provide the resources necessary to make their dreams a reality.
Currently the organization will raise up to a $5,000 worth of microfinance loans per family to help cover the cost of materials needed to rebuild their homes. Since most of the villagers are very tightly knit, they often possess the skills and manpower necessary to construct their homes without any other outside assistance. EFI would eventually like to send out groups to provide extra support when the time is right. The families that the organization supports usually have at least the shell of the home constructed, so most of the funds go towards windows, doors, roofs, drywall, cosmetics, etc.
Depending on the situation, families may obtain additional funds from government programs or family members for example, and the loan is just enough to cover that deficit. As the loan is paid back over a 2-3 year period, funds are then recycled into other microlending opportunities for other families. So far EFI has been able to help raise the loans for 6 partner families in need. The results have been astonishing, and the loan repayment program has been working very effectively.
Another great part of being an international microlender company is that a small amount of money can go a long way. Eventually the organization would like to become involved in other parts of Iraq and internationally. As the vision continues to spread among new supporters and processes continued to be perfected among the organization, this will become much more feasible. However, at this time the focus will be on supporting Iraq and offering hope to many broken villages.