Fonkoze

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Fonkoze
Headquarters Location: Washington, DC
Founded: 1997


Mission: Fonkoze is Haiti’s alternative bank for the organized poor. In fact, it is a family of three institutions working together shoulder-to-shoulder towards a single compelling mission: building the economic foundations for democracy in Haiti by providing the rural poor with the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty. This mission is reflected in our name, Fonkoze, which is an acronym for the Haitian Creole phrase “Fondasyon Kole Zepòl” meaning “Shoulder-to-Shoulder Foundation.”


Tags: 2012, international, microfinance, haiti, microinsurance, financial services


Fonkoze
Story: Last summer, when rains drenched southern Haiti, Josette Lazarre couldn’t stop working. The 48-yearold Fonkoze client was a first responder to the growing cholera epidemic in her community near Okay.

A trained nurse and mother of three who lost her… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
Fonkoze is a Haitian NGO which has also set up a nonprofit microfinance bank. It is the largest microfinance operation in Haiti and played a major role in supporting post-earthquake recovery in Haiti. The organization is dedicated to serving the poorest populations, and is extremely responsive to the needs of their clients, offering a wide-range of services, many of which are not financially-based. Fonkoze is known to be an innovative organization.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
Fonkoze Carine Roenen Laroche. A medical doctor by training, Carine Roenen Laroche joined the staff as the Director of Fonkoze on November 25, 2009. In Rwanda, where she lived and practiced medicine for six years, she became interested in managing health services and programs. This experience led her to obtain a Master's Degree in Public Health in her hometown of Antwerp, Belgium, in 1995.… See full bio.


Transparency Information
Silver-big
This organization has earned the GuideStar Participation Level Silver, demonstrating its commitment to transparency (learn more)


Financial Data
Charity Navigator Rating: 4stars (profile)
Total Revenue:
$4,838,731


From the Nonprofit
The nonprofit has not added any comments yet. If you are a representative of this nonprofit and would like to leave a comment, please email us at feedback@myphilanthropedia.org with your request.


Contact Info
E-Mail:
Phone:
+1 (202) 628-9033      
Facebook:
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Address:
1700 Kalorama Rd NW, Suite 102
 
Washington, DC 20009, USA
Twitter:
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Fonkoze Story: Last summer, when rains drenched southern Haiti, Josette Lazarre couldn’t stop working. The 48-yearold Fonkoze client was a first responder to the growing cholera epidemic in her community near Okay.

A trained nurse and mother of three who lost her husband in the earthquake, Josette lost all her merchandise — medical supplies, including water purification tablets, oral rehydration solution, and medicines — in the storms, which covered some parts of the south in a foot of rain.

Fortunately, Fonkoze had rolled out its natural disaster insurance in time for the tropical weather season. Josette received HTG 5,000 (about US $125), had her current loan cancelled, and received a new loan through Kore W, Fonkoze’s new natural disaster insurance product that means “Reinforce you” in Haitian Creole. All together, the rains were so significant that Fonkoze received a payout from reinsurer Swiss Re and in turn paid out more than US $ 1 million to clients who sustained damage. The insurance product is one of Fonkoze’s major innovations since the earthquake.

“It got me going again,” Josette said. “Fonkoze is doing an extraordinary job.”

As part of a special cholera response program, Fonkoze provided her the initial medical supplies and training to get her pharmaceutical business up and running. Fonkoze also provided the first cholera education in her community, she says.

In the summer of 2011, Josette says she treated up to 100 people a month. Sometimes she couldn’t sleep through the night because she received so many calls. Equipped with water purification tablets and oral rehydration salts, Josette hiked into the mountains to help the sick until they could make it to a cholera treatment center. With no ambulances, her service saved lives.

Since the Okoto branch opened nearest her, she’s lobbied neighbors and friends to join Fonkoze, many of whom were suspicious because of bad experiences with other lenders. Now a client for four years, she is the chief of the solidarity center in her area and helps verify claims made through Kore W. She says she visits each member who claims damage to their home or business to ensure the system works fairly.

“When your house is destroyed, when your business is lost, it should be the government that helps,” Josette said. “The only one who comes to see if we’re okay is Fonkoze. I love Fonkoze.”

Expert Reviews of Fonkoze

Evidence of Impact Summary:

Fonkoze is a Haitian NGO which has also set up a nonprofit microfinance bank. It is the largest microfinance operation in Haiti and played a major role in supporting post-earthquake recovery in Haiti. The organization is dedicated to serving the poorest populations, and is extremely responsive to the needs of their clients, offering a wide-range of services, many of which are not financially-based. Fonkoze is known to be an innovative organization.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

Many experts note that Fonkoze has strong leadership. The organization’s leadership is dedicated and good at what they do. Fonkoze keeps the needs of the clients at the core of everything they do. They structure their programming and all of their operations around developing approaches that are truly useful to their clients. That drive, coupled with Fonkoze’s knack for evaluation and risk-taking, has helped the organization develop its strong culture of innovation. Fonkoze is also connected to the global microfinance dialog, where they have been a positive influence on the movement as a whole.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

In order to improve on the great work they’re doing, Fonkoze needs to spend time preparing for the future. Quite a few experts predict that the inevitable transition into new leadership will be quite difficult for the organization. They will want to be particularly mindful of that transition. The organization also needs to work on becoming more financially sustainable, as the organization relies quite heavily on external donations now. Fonkoze could also improve by strengthening their financial management skills and improving staff retention.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

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X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Haiti -Based

O
Fonkoze, as Haiti's leading microfinance institution, operates in the most difficult environment in the Western Hemisphere and is engaged in a variety of innovative initiatives, including the implementation of the world's first hybrid catastrophe / micro(re)insurance program.
N
Fonkoze is a Haitian NGO which has also set up a nonprofit microfinance bank. It is the largest microfinance operation in Haiti, reaching many tens of thousands of very poor Haitians with financial services that improve lives of clients and their families, and communities. Fonkoze has been a major player in supporting post-earthquake recovery in Haiti, an institution that really works in the midst of much dysfunction throughout the country. Moreover, Fonkoze has been a crucible for innovation to help people who are beyond the reach of normal microfinance operations. Their innovations have influenced the thinking of the global microfinance community about what is possible for supporting the self-help efforts of the poor.

Responsive to Client Needs

N
Fonkoze outreaches to the poorest populations. They offer their clients diversity of products, services, and support.
N
Fonkoze has had a major impact, not just as a financial intuition, but also in many aspects of their clients' lives. To develop and deliver services and products and to build an institution in the socio-economic and political unrest of Haiti, is almost impossible. But Fonkoze did it. For thousands of women and their families, Fonkoze is the only answer and hope they have. Their impact is also evident in the fact that they have reached every region of Haiti, including the areas not even the local authorities go. Their holistic approach to fighting poverty with the variety of services they offer such as: loans, savings, remittances, information, education, and learning business skills, is making possible the transformation of its client members. In the words of one of their clients, Fonkoze is building “Solid Women” because they feel that they are becoming stable.
R
They have a dedication to the ultra-poor, and offer the appropriate services beyond mere loans.
O
Fonkoze is a foundation working in the poorest country of the Americas. They have substantial systems for targeting and monitoring client feedback.
R
They have complete dedication to helping the poor throughout Haiti with a full suite of financial and non-financial services where necessary and appropriate.

Dedicated to Improvement

N
They continually examine their work and its impact on the poor, and then innovate to find solutions to the problems they find.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

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Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Strong Leadership

O
Fonkoze's management team, led by Anne Hastings, is best in class. Anne's expertise is unparalleled in the industry and her devotion to the institution's cause is supreme. Fonkoze has also developed a proven track record of innovation and resiliency, serving as an irreplaceable vehicle in the recovery effort in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake.
N
Their CEO is absolutely dedicated to ensuring that the organization is effective in addressing poverty. They have strong management and organizational systems.
R
They have a strong leadership and dedicated staff. The organization is also exceptionally realistic about limitations in finance by itself.

Culture of Innovation

N
The organization is highly innovative and great at risk-taking. Also, research and development that is designed to improve clients' lives is part of their every day operations.

Client-Driven

N
They achieved a big impact with the segmentation of its client members. They are offering different services to each segment, making sure that they are receiving the kind of services that they need to lift themselves out of poverty. For example, the “ultra poor program” is giving opportunities to women that otherwise would be living in the worst conditions that one can imagine. Given the difficult social environment that exists in Haiti, the efficient way with which the group methodology has been implemented in Fonkoze has represented a wonderful response for the clients and their families. They have found in their groups a sort of “belonging” and “protection”, and a guaranty for client retention for the institution.
O
Fonkoze has stood by its clients through periods of natural disaster in Haiti. They also have strong leadership and social performance monitoring.

Globally Networked

N
Fonkoze is blessed with very capable and inspired leadership, who have built a remarkably effective global network of support for their funding, operations, and innovation. They also participate in major global initiatives to improve the social performance of microfinance. Together, these two initiatives enable Fonkoze to have significant positive influence on the direction of the microfinance industry around the world. Fonkoze is strong mainly in offering an inspiring example of microfinance in action in Haiti. Fonkoze has also been a prominent voice in global policy debates, on a par with Pro Mujer.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

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Foundation Professionals (F)
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Researchers and Faculty (R)
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Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Plan for Growth and Transition

O
The organization relies perhaps too heavily on its leadership for direction. Additionally, the organization's operations are not yet self-sustaining, meaning it still relies to an extent on donations.
N
They have a succession plan for the CEO. Nevertheless, it is extremely difficult to find a qualified person that can take over the institution. It would be convenient to find someone from Haiti that could be prepared to take the responsibility. They also need to build a larger base of “social investors”, who could help Fonkoze face the difficult challenges they have on a permanent basis.
N
Fonkoze faces the inevitable transition of leadership, and there is no clear heir apparent for the current leader, an American, Anne Hastings. Also, Fonkoze has yet to figure out how to financially sustain a massive scale-up of its project to reach out to and support extremely poor people to become economically active.
R
Their growth has not been tremendous, although they are the largest provider in Haiti.

Improve Finance & Operations

N
They could improve their financial management, and their ability to attract and retain local leaders.
O
They could improve staff retention, and would benefit from an internal audit.


Leadership

Fonkoze
Carine Roenen Laroche
Director
A medical doctor by training, Carine Roenen Laroche joined the staff as the Director of Fonkoze on November 25, 2009. In Rwanda, where she lived and practiced medicine for six years, she became interested in managing health services and programs. This experience led her to obtain a Master's Degree in Public Health in her hometown of Antwerp, Belgium, in 1995. Carine arrived in Haiti that same year and has since been leading multidisciplinary teams to develop and implement development programs, first with Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and then with the Belgian Bilateral Cooperation. For the past nine years, Carine has served with one of Fonkoze's partners in Haiti, Concern Worldwide, an international humanitarian organization working to alleviate suffering and eliminate poverty.

From the Nonprofit

The nonprofit has not added any comments yet. If you are a representative of this nonprofit and would like to leave a comment, please email us at feedback@myphilanthropedia.org with your request.


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