Antigua & Barbuda: Using a “Box Hand” Community Lending Model for Adaptation Finance
“Box hand” in Antigua and Barbuda is an informal community lending model where members of a group pay into a “box”, and the members take turns to receive the full hand.
Jennie is a “Box Holder” – the trustworthy person responsible for managing a box. Jennie is an immigrant woman from Guyana who was a police officer before migrating to Antigua. She has been a box holder for the past 10 years, and has had successes and challenges. Through this process, Jennie has learned to build up trust among women, hearing of their desires to buy land, own homes, educate their children. The practice is also adapted to real life issues like emergencies, death, sickness, and utility disconnections.
With a telephone call, Jennie can request a member to wait for their hand to allow another person to attend to their pressing needs. Through Jennie’s leadership, her groups’ box hands have helped dreams to be realized. Antigua and Barbuda’s Adaptation Fund project is working with box hand holders to finance adaptation and build the resilience of vulnerable communities.