Bright Future for Josephite Foundation

Recently, Board Members of the Josephite Foundation travelled from Sydney, Lithgow, Orange and Bathurst to meet at St. Joseph’s Convent in Perthville for a weekend of Strategic Planning. The weekend was facilitated by Sister Therese Carroll rsj of Sydney, to ensure the good work of the Foundation in the field of Microfinance and Financial Inclusion is carried on into the future.

Since its establishment by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Perthville Congregation in 1988, the Foundation has assisted people who are marginalised in the communities serviced by its No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) programs in Bathurst, Cowra, Lithgow and Young. More than 3,000 loans, totalling more than two million dollars, have been given for essential household items and services, and some educational and medical expenses. In addition to its four NILS programs, the Foundation also administers two StepUP Loan programs, in partnership with Good Shepherd Microfinance and the National Australia Bank.

The provision of Microfinance loans to people on limited incomes is not just about giving them access to socially responsible finance options, it’s also about giving people a ‘hand-up’ in life and respecting their dignity. These small loans have proven themselves to be life changing to many people, allowing them to purchase essential items without breaking the fortnightly budget, and in many cases enhancing their sense of self-respect.

The Board of the Josephite Foundation was reformed at the start of 2013. The new Board has its eye firmly on the future and is keen to establish an effective Strategic Plan that will see the Foundation able to maintain its current microfinance services well into the future, in addition to the possibility of expanding into other areas that don’t already have access to a NILS program.