The Mapuche Chapter (MC) is an advanced programme of Spanda Foundation’s Mantra pilot project on green microfinance, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, and draws on the acquired experience of the pilot in Sierra Leone – now on hold because of the Ebola outbreak – and fully retaining its methodological framework and its overall format, while instead upgrading beyond the traditional microfinance structure to an innovative Spanda devised community driven financial scheme design architecture.
The programme aims to alleviate poverty by providing access to energy equipment, financing instruments and relevant training in the La Araucania region, Chile, in order to empower the indigenous Mapuche population by establishing or expanding micro-economic activities related to sustainable agriculture, ethnic tourism, and to the creation, production and distribution of traditional handicraft.
The programme supports the Mapuche communities as well as their environment, it strengthens their cultural identity, and improves the overall economic situation of the region.
To help the Mapuche people to take advantage of their natural habitat’s resources and of their cultural potential, the MC will provide eligible individual with:
i) a-stand-alone device for the generation of solar energy;
ii) a microloan for the acquisition of this device and of any other productivity enhancing tool;
iii) educational and professional training and assistance in the use and maintenance of the devices, as well as for capacity building in micro-entrepreneurial activities.
The specific combination of these three provisions has been selected to give impetus to the economic activities of the La Araucania, allowing the Mapuche to enhance, increase and ease their agricultural pursuits, as well as to facilitate both their household tasks and their traditional handicraft production. Moreover, this combination of provisions guarantees a long-term sustainability of the project’s economic, environmental, social, and human rights dimension consonant with Spanda Foundation Clean Code’s four bottom line requirements:
- Economic | Microloans provide financial resources to disadvantaged Mapuche communities. To benefit an ever-growing number of beneficiaries, the MC collects the interest from the loans in a revolving fund to increase their number. Additionally, the electricity provision stimulates entrepreneurial activities.
- Social | MC eases tensions in the regions that have suffered from conflict; enhances the individual development of the beneficiaries by providing training on business skills and productivity enhancement; besides, it contributes to the preservation of the Mapuche’s culture and identity.
- Environment | The spread of renewable and sustainable energy for productivity advancement is an effective model which could be widely and easily replicated within developing rural communities.
- Human and Social Rights | The project enhances the rejection of any form of corruption, discrimination and of forced and child labor. It exclusively supports activities that respect dignity, freedom, gender, equality. and peaceful means of conflict resolution.