The early stages of the foundation were conceptualized by Jim and Diana Frantz after Jim’s “Plan A “ suddenly ended after 20 years of ministry with Opportunity International. During that time, they saw the value and impact that community based economic development programs had on the poor, especially when the programs were infused with genuine Christian love and concern. After months of prayer and reflection, Jim and Diana felt called to apply their 20 plus years of experience in the field to those living in poor conditions who are not being reached by banks and microfinance organizations due to their age, gender, geography or poverty levels. Their “Plan B” was to establish an organization that could be more agile and quick in response to those in need. They soon realized that many times “Plan Bs” have built into them a deep wisdom acquired from years of real experiences filled with successes and failures and a passion for transformation based on witnessing real life stories of individuals who have triumphed over life’s difficulties.
The concept of a “Plan B” also applies very clearly to the lives of the poor, and made a very fitting first name for the foundation. For many individuals living in poverty, they start believing that their “Plan A”…survive in a continued life of poverty… is their only plan. Society has designated them to be poor and convinced them that is their lot in life and they must accept it. But the Bible asserts that God has the power to change every aspect of our lives. Christians believe that the world’s Plan A of a life of injustice and poverty can be destroyed and replaced, if we work hard and change our attitudes and actions. Likewise failed family and social plans can be redeemed through the power of God in our lives. It is called Transformation and it occurs when an individual recognizes his or her own capacity to dream, build, thrive and live abundantly and humbly recognizes the need for a personal relationship with the God of the universe.
Fundacion Plan B was established to bring economic, social and spiritual transformation to the lives of individuals living in low-income communities throughout Colombia by partnering with the local church and other ministries to reach individuals with real economic and spiritual need. By adapting traditional economic development tools to the reality and capacity of the poor, Fundacion Plan B the economic reality of the poor. This was followed by the provision of services of microloans, which encouraged wise financial management, savings, and the initiation of entrepreneurial attitudes and activities. Micro-leasing and micro-franchising was also added to help grow participants’ businesses and increase their income.
Recently, we have decided to change the name of our foundation from “Plan B Foundation” to “Investing Hope International”. After observing the impact that our programs have on the individuals and communities where we work over the last two years, we believe even more strongly that God is using us to fulfill his promise to “give us a hope and a future”. As individuals change the way they see work, debt and savings, they can see a new light and a better way. Their faces shine as they gain a practical way to increase income and put something away for a rainy day, a future education or a more secure home. We have seen entire families come together with the noble purpose of improving their money management skills and proving to themselves that they can save. Children who are saving for their future are being encouraged and aided by their parents. Even the youngest understand that the creations of their hands are a blessing from God and able to build a purposeful future. We are greatful for God´s provision thus far and we rejoice to see what He will do with us and through us in the days to come as we continue to invest hope in communities in Colombia.
The name “Investing Hope” combines business concepts with social and spiritual change. Having worked for over 20 years with community economic development projects, we have seen that the astute business people that exist in poor communities know how to take advantage of their skills, creativity and hardwork to multiply money and build a better future for their family. We believe that we can invest in the lives of these individuals economically, socially and spiritually and it will bear fruit in abundance. Microfinance principles are being extended to the children and adults in our groups as we teach them they can take advantage of commercial financial products to improve their income while reinforcing in them the dangers of debt, the benefits of savings and the value of work and creativity. All of this is packaged in encouragement to trust in God who desires to bless them with the best things in their lives, starting with a living and loving relationship with Him.
As we search the countryside for some of the poorest communities to invest in, we invite you to invest with us by donating to our organization. Invest hope in the lives of those who have felt hopelessness.