Monday, September 15, 2014

Growing a community development organization


From daily management of programs in Honduras to general oversight of the organization, Patrick Hughes is involved in each of Unión MicroFinanza’s programs. As president of the organization, Patrick oversees accounting, community partnership projects, microloans and trainings. But he also looks toward the future of the organization through visioning, brainstorming and researching new initiatives, and building partnerships in Honduras and in the U.S.

Patrick, one of the founders of UMF, has been living and working in La Unión for 4 1/2 years. He has seen the organization grow in number of employees, programs, and communities served. Many people in town know Patrick and his love for good coffee (without milk or sugar). And many know about the various ways that UMF has worked alongside farmers in La Unión.

When Patrick isn’t working in the UMF office, he can most likely be found helping out (or having a coffee) at La Unión’s café, CafeZAZZO, or working on the coffee field that he co-owns, called Finca El Gringacho. He also likes reading about the latest developments in the world of specialty coffee, and he’s interested in starting rock climbing.

During Patrick’s first year working with UMF (in 2010) employees of the brand-new non-profit made $100 per month. Their salaries reached Honduran minimum wage during the organization’s second year, where they remain at about $350 per month. As he continues to lead and envision growth for UMF, Patrick in particular wants to see UMF’s employees receive a salary that allows them to stay long-term with the organization and provide a sustainable income for their families.

“Unión MicroFinanza is its employees. Without our amazing staff, none of the work that we envision and do would be possible. Every employee has made great sacrifices because they believe in supporting the people of La Unión, but they should not have to sacrifice a living wage,” Patrick said.

The generous support from partners like you contributes to the well-being of each UMF employee. Visit our website to learn more about becoming a donor. Thank you – you are making a difference in our lives and in the lives of the people of Honduras!

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