The 2021 European Microfinance Award Finalists

CRECER IFD (Crédito con Educación Rural Institución Financiera de Desarrollo) - Bolivia

Cervical cancer screening and treatment (CACU) programme for rural women


Year of establishment: 1999

Legal status: NBFI

Total number of clients: 221 136

Total number of staff: 1371

Institutional overview

CRECER IFD is a NBFI originating from a social development programme and funded as a Bolivian NGOs in 1999. CRECER mainly operates with a village bank methodology, facilitating savings and offering credits, with educational and community development services in particular, to women in poor and vulnerable communities in rural and peri-urban zones of Bolivia with the aim of improving their and their family’s life.

The context

According to WHO estimates, Bolivia has one of the highest cervical cancer mortality rate in the world. Cervical cancer is the leading cause of death among Bolivian women, especially among young women. While most deaths could be avoided by preventing screening and treatment, access to those services is very limited, particularly in the most remote areas.

The initiative

Health education/awareness raising is an integral part of CRECER offer since its origin ((initially focusing on nutrition for women and children under 5 years of age then complemented by family planning) but the health programme has evolved over the years to focus (since 2013) on cervical cancer prevention (CACU Programme). Its main objective is to empower women and develop their capacity for auto-diagnostic and preventive care.

Since 2017, CRECER also offers a Health Credit which aims to finance health expenditures (even those expenses that were incurred 90 days before the loan application), such as medical treatments, consultations, and high-risk surgeries (both in the country and abroad) as well as the purchase of medical equipment/accessories and medicines.

Dreamlopments Limited - Thailand

M-FUND health microinsurance for migrant families and border communities

DLP Foundation Logo

Year of establishment: 2015

Legal status: Non-profit social entreprise

Total number of clients: 21 334

Total number of staff: 60

Institutional overview

Dreamlopments Limited is a non-profit social enterprise and foundation registered in Thailand which runs 2 development projects for migrant workers and border communities in Thailand and Myanmar.

The context

Thailand is a primary country of destination for more than 3 million migrant workers, mainly from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, who lack health protection and access to affordable healthcare.


The initiative

Dreamlopments’ Migrant Fund (M-FUND) offers migrants and their partners, in Thailand and poor border communities in Myawaddy Township of Myanmar, low-cost, not-for-profit health microinsurance, via 28 linked health facilities. The on-site enrolment to the M-Fund is made via a secure and custom designed M-FUND web-based application via tablets or mobiles phones. Membership cards (with member photograph and QR code) and coverage details, are issued upon enrolment. The M-FUND pays for the cost of care of members in those healthcare facilities, up to their M-FUND’s plan coverage. Various plans are available, including coverage for chronic, old age and pregnancy options.

Fonkoze - Haiti

Boutik Santé initiative to train clients to provide screenings and health education


Year of establishment: 1994

Legal status: NGO

Total number of clients: 48 960

Total number of staff: 962

Institutional overview

Fonkoze is a family of three institutions, whose collective mission is to provide financial and non-financial services to empower Haitians—primarily women—to lift their families out of poverty. SFF - Sèvis Finansye Fonkoze S.A. (Fonkoze Financial Services) is the leading microcredit provider, whilst the Fondasyon Kole Zepòl (Fonkoze Foundation) is its non-profit sister organisation that complements microfinance activities, by providing additional support, such as health screening and guidelines as well as other development services, to clients and their communities in some of the most isolated areas of Haiti, Fonkoze USA is the outreach, communications, and capacity-building wing for the entire Fonkoze Family.

The context

In rural Haiti, the mortality rate for children under 5 years is 81 per 1000. Only 23% of rural households have access to adequate sanitation. The provision of health care services is unreliable.

The principal causes of mortality in Haiti are preventable but the health services, infrastructure and medical supply are very poor.

The initiative

Recognising the impact of health shocks on its sister organisation’s clients, Fonkoze Foundation launched in 2014, Boutik Santé, in which doctors and public health experts train nurses who in turn train microfinance clients and elect Community Health Entrepreneurs to conduct basic health screenings, deliver health education sessions, and procure health products.