Obituary: Sister Nancy Pereira, founder of Bank for Poor

Sister Nancy Pereira

Sister Nancy Pereira

Sister Nancy Pereira, a member of the Daughters of Maria Auxiliatrix (FMA), died on 14 July at her FMA community Home in Bangalore, India.

She was born at Pudukkuruchy, in the Indian state of Kerala, 14 August 1923, and made her first Profession on 6 January 1945. Her name is famous because in the early 1990s in Bangalore (some 1000 km south of Bombay), she started a Fund for the Poor,
re-elaborating the example of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The clients of her Bank had to be poor, people from slums, from villages, people who owned nothing and had no opportunity to build a better life. To obtain credit the person had to prove that he or she had saved a small sum for a year and taken part in meetings of the small credit management group. The annual interest rate was so small it barely covered management expenses. The project of the Bank for the Poor involved the whole family and recognised the needs of each member and therefore, inserted in a Family Integral Development and Education Scheme, it helped improve living conditions for many families and even whole villages.

A brief biography written by the FMA Sisters, says about Sister Nancy “she was convinced her vocation was to be with the poor and to devote herself to serving them. She loved all of them and tried to make them aware of their rights as well as their duties and to live their dignity as children of God. She did this with joy, involving many people in her projects for doing good. Forgetful of self, she lived a life of poverty to enrich the poor. With her creative solidarity she founded numerous groups for the promotion of women (Self Help Group) and development programmes such as IGP (Income Generating Programme) to help the poor live in
worthy conditions and with financial autonomy.”

During her life Sister Nancy received many international awards and a film was made about her life.

Source: Fides

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