By: Hugo Escobar – Alliance for Responsible Mining
The revolving funds for the pallaqueras, are money loan figures, created by the Alliance for Responsible Mining for the project of New initiatives of productive diversification for Pallaqueras women of the San Francisco Association.
The project was created in 2020 with funds from the Charpitas Inclusivas project, financed by the Ensemble Foundation and the Ford Foundation, and has benefited 5 women who make up the San Francisco pallaqueras association (Pallaqueras: women who collect rocks with traces of gold) who work in the Rinconada, Ananea. It is estimated that by the end of 2022 there will be 15 beneficiaries of the loan system.
How do these funds work and why are they so important?
Artisanal mining women and men in Peru have many limitations when it comes to receiving financing from banking entities due to the nature of their economic activity. Being a widespread activity in the region, entire communities are unable to finance their businesses, homes, or improve their work tools.
To solve this liquidity problem, the Alliance for Responsible mining, created self-managed Revolving Funds, a financial inclusion strategy that allows pallaquera women to easily access credit on affordable terms to meet their financial needs.
After meeting a series of requirements and obtaining the credit, the pallaqueras can decide on the use they give to the credit, advised by the administration of the revolving fund for optimal management of the resources, and receive support in each phase of the microcredit. With the advisory and follow-up mechanisms, they guarantee that the resources can benefit more pallaqueras.
Lakdawala, Ethical Jewels by Belloni, Ajaie Alaie y Saskia Shutt are 4 Fairmined licensee brands that saw in the funds an opportunity to contribute to transforming the reality of the pallaqueras. After seeing the reality of miners in Ananea up close during the jewelers’ trip to the origins, they understood that responsible mining, for which ARM works for, goes far beyond the mining project, and implies working for the development of community and the protection of human rights.
the New York-based Lakdawala Jewelry donated the sum of 800 USD to benefit the pallaqueras and help them materialize their dreams and projects.
“It means a lot to me to be able to help these women,” said Naazneen Fahkri, co-founder of lakdawala. “In our company we always seek the well-being of people, and discovering that at the origin of gold there is still so much to do is for me a motivation to continue making responsible jewelry, ethical jewelry. In short, luxury and sustainability can go hand in hand”.
Francesco Belloni from Ethical Jewels, Daniella Samper from Ajaie Alaie and the designer Saskia Shutt from Saskia Shutt, joined this initiative, taking their story of the trip to the heart of the responsible Fairmined gold mines in Peru, to the living sessions of Christina Miller, and the donation they obtained there was destined to the funds of the pallaqueras.
“Knowing this realities gives you ideas, and ideas are very powerful if they fall into hands willing to get uncomfortable and work to achieve greater goals. The donation is a path where we ensure that women miners and collectors will have more opportunities, and with them their children, their families. We must facilitate that process” says Saskia Shutt.
At the end of 2022, the initiatives and activities supported by the revolving funds of the pallaqueras will be known.