Fonkoze USA

Half the Sky Read-a-Thon

So what's a read-a-thon?

Read-a-thon Kickoff

Sign up for the read-a-thon

Half the Sky Discussion Group

Where is the money being donated?

How does the donation process work?

Celebration: Nov. 11, Audubon Room, 5 to 7 PM

Read-a-Thon Closing

Join the read-a-thon group on Facebook

Basically, just a fundraiser with a funny name. You get a free copy of “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide." You get inspired and challenged. You share how amazing the book is with friends, family, people in your classes or at work… and then you say “and you can help empower women in the developing world by donating.” All we ask is that you raise at least the cost of the book ($16).


Women's Resource Center, Karen Reichard, Phone: 864-7881, Email:

University Ministry, Josh Daly, Phone: 865-2141, Email:

Center for International Education, Kristy Magner, Phone: 864-7550, Email:

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and co-author of Half the Sky, Sheryl WuDunn, gave a moving and inspiring talk on September 23 for the kickoff of Loyola’s Half the Sky read-a-thon. If you weren’t able to make it, check out this clip from a TED Talk WuDunn gave in August:

WuDunn and her husband, Nicholas Kristof, co-wrote Half the Sky to put a spotlight on the oppression of women and girls around the world and to inspire us all to get involved.

In the words of WuDunn and Kristof:
Half the Sky lays out an agenda for the world's women and three major abuses: sex trafficking and forced prostitution; gender-based violence including honor killings and mass rape; maternal mortality, which needlessly claims one woman a minute. We know there are many worthy causes competing for attention in the world. We focus on this one because this kind of oppression feels transcendent – and so does the opportunity. Outsiders can truly make a difference.

So let us be clear up front: We hope to recruit you to join an incipient movement to emancipate women and fight global poverty by unlocking women's power as economic catalysts. It is a process that transforms bubbly teenage girls from brothel slaves into successful businesswomen. You can help accelerate change if you'll just open your heart and join in.

To read more about the Half the Sky Movement, visit

We’ll have tables in the Danna Center where you can sign up or you can email Kristy Magner at to get your free copy of Half the Sky.

The Women's Resource Center will be hosting a discussion of the read-a-thon on Thursday, October 21 at 5:00 p.m. in Mercy Hall Room 103.

For more info and to RSVP visit!/event.php?eid=132122373506613

Fonkoze is “Haiti’s Alternative Bank for the Organized Poor.” It is the largest microfinance institution (MFI) in Haiti, serving more than 45,000 women borrowers most of whom live and work in the countryside of Haiti. With its network of 41 branches covering every region of Haiti, it is also the only MFI that is truly national in scope. Since the January 2010 earthquake Fonkoze has also worked on housing rebuilding and repair for member-clients.

Moreover, Fonkoze is one of the few MFIs in Haiti that is truly grass-roots. Fonkoze was founded in 1994 by a Haitian Catholic priest who started the institution with little more than a vision: a vision to provide the means for all Haitians, even the poorest, to participate in the economic development of the country. His target group was women, because as he declared, “Women are the backbone of the Haitian economy and the doorway into the family unit.”

You may be wondering exactly how Fonkoze helps lift people out of poverty. As illustrated in the graph below, Fonkoze provides a mix of microfinance, education, health, solidarity and counseling tailored for where each client and their family are on the journey out of poverty.

STEP 1: Chemen Lavi Miyò, or the Road to a Better Life, reaches out to the poorest of the poor. It accompanies them with training, one-on-one supervision and encouragement, confidence building and other services like health care and home repair. It protects clients as they move forward along a two-year road from abject misery until they have their own functioning microenterprise and are ready to enter a microfinance program.

STEP 2: Ti Kredi, or Little Credit, reaches out to families that are not ready to manage a loan as large as $75, the first loan in Fonkoze's core solidarity-group credit program. Ti Kredi offers them a smaller initial loan of just $25, shorter repayment periods, additional support from their loan officer, and literacy classes.

STEP 3: Solidarity Group credit is Fonkoze’s core program. Groups of five close friends organize themselves into solidarity groups that take out their loans together. These groups are organized in turn into Credit Centers of 30-40 women that become long-term associations of women devoted to individual and community economic and social development. Starting with three-month loans of $75, women can grow within this program until they are borrowing sums as large as $1,300 for six months. The groups meet together regularly for Literacy, Business Training, and other educational programs.

STEP 4: Business Development provides year-long loans that start at $1,300 and can increase without limit. It currently has clients borrowing $25,000 and more. This program helps clients become part of the formal economy and create jobs in rural areas where there is very little employment.

To read more about Fonkoze visit


  1. Go to

  2. Click “Get Started”, select “Use your imagination” and select how long you want your fundraising page to accept donations.

  3. Create URL for your page (Ex: & email website to

  4. Personalize your page, share it with friends/family and raise money for Fonkoze!

    a. Donations via credit card can be made online.
    b. Donations via check (payable to Fonkoze USA) or cash should be brought or mailed to the Center for International Education (please ask donors to mention your name if mailing or dropping off donations):
                     Center for International Education
                     Half the Sky read-a-thon
                     6363 St. Charles Ave., Box 205
                     New Orleans, LA 70118
    c. If someone gives you cash or a check you can bring it to the Center for International Education (Mercy Hall Room 301) and then log it on your first giving page online to keep track of donations.

    ***Please remember to email us your first giving website once you have set up an account***

We will be celebrating the read-a-thon during International Week with performances that celebrate Haiti and with representatives from Fonkoze USA coming to speak about how the donations raised will benefit Haiti.

For more information about International Week, visit

To join the read-a-thon Facebook group, visit!/group.php?gid=114256201969207


We are excited to announce that, thanks to all of your individual fundraising efforts, we raised $1,296 for Fonkoze! The impact of that money will be multiplied many times over through the work of Fonkoze. For example, $1,296 could be used to help over 50 women in Step 2 (Ti Kredi) of the program outlined below. If each of those women has a family of at least two children then over 150 Haitians will be lifted out of poverty by the money we raised!

Thanks for your commitment to making a difference in the world. Keep up the good work and spread the word about Half the Sky to others!