“I’ve met a lot of strong women with very good energy,” he said.
The project began in South America as an assignment for Treball Solidari, a non-governmental agency working to improve living conditions through microcredit programs.
But Bonet felt the issue was worthy of a more detailed, global look. With help from his photo agency, NOOR, he was awarded a grant to continue his work. At that point, he decided to focus on women whose lives had changed after receiving one of these loans.
He has now been to nine countries on three continents, recently returning from Bangladesh.
During his travels, Bonet met many women who embraced the microcredit financial model to stand on their own and provide for their families. But it’s certainly not a cure-all.
“People don’t get rich with this,” he said. “It’s a small solution on a very big scale.” The loans do, however, provide resources – both financial and emotional – to generate previously unfathomable income.
And because these women are living in very rural locations, microcredit provides one of the only honest ways to fund their business endeavors. Some cultivate crops and raise livestock. Others own beauty shops or restaurants, teach, or make clothes or rugs.
A noticeable confidence was seen in these women, Bonet said. He observed how they became stronger and more independent. Through communal organizations, many were now standing up for their rights and the rights of other women.
“A very small difference (can make) a positive change in your life,” he said.