Bruce November 2009

Name: Jessica Bruce
Post: Bassila

Brief Project Description:

Every five weeks, the Volunteer travels to the village of El Hamdou (approximately 10 km north of Bassila) and teaches a group of Kotokoli men and women to run a village savings and loan operation. This group was identified by Yvette KOAGOU, a local non-governmental organization field worker. At the meetings, the Volunteer follows the Village Savings and Loan Association field guide provided to SED Volunteers to provide training in the importance and management of a self-sustaining set of small financial services. Weekly, members of the group each set aide 200 CFA, so that at every fifth week they each of 1000 CFA to contribute to the group. Each member’s 1000 CFA savings is noted in his individual passbook using a stamp and ink. The 1000 CFA, plus a 50 CFA community insurance donation, is saved in a metal lock box. The lock box is kept by a member of the group between meetings; it has three locks, which different members hold keys to, to assure the money’s safety. After several months of practicing saving, the Volunteer taught the group members to take 50000 CFA loans, which are reimbursed to the group with a small interest. The 50 CFA insurance donations are stored separately in case of an emergency that affects a member. Thus, the group has learned to provide three important financial services: savings, loans, and insurance. These financial services would otherwise be unable to this rural community.

Dates of Project: May 4, 2009 – present
Number of People Involved: Thirty-three women and two men are members of the group; they participate in each meeting by contributing savings and insurance deposits and taking out or repaying loans, if desired. One of the women speaks French and acts as the group’s accountant. Another is the guardian of the lockbox. Three women guard the keys to the lock box. A young girl, who speaks French and can write, acts as secretary, recording the savings and loan contributions and withdrawals. She is not a member of the group.

Item Number Unit Price Cost
Rubber stamps 2 1000 CFA 2.000 CFA
Individual passbooks 25 200 CFA 7.000 CFA
Black pen 1 125 CFA 125 CFA
Red pen 1 125 CFA 125 CFA
Ink pad 1 1.200 CFA 1.200 CFA
Lock box fabrication 1 6.000 CFA 6.000 CFA
Lock box painting 1 1.000 CFA 1.000 CFA
Locks 3 400 CFA 1.200 CFA
Total Cost 18.650 CFA

Amount Requested: 18.650 CFA


This project worked extremely well due to the interest and participation of the accountant, who runs the meetings very effectively. At the first meeting, I used a translator to help me introduce and explain how the savings and loan association would work. Since then, because of the participation of the accountant, I have not had to rely on external translators. Her enthusiasm and skill have made the project very successful. I also built on the experiences I had with two previous villages savings and loan associations when forming this one. I recommend using the field guide as a rough guide while focusing on transferring skills slowly; I try to teach one new skill at each meeting.


GAD Coordinator: This is a well-written proposal; glad to see that she also included feedback. Recommend Funding.
GAD Finance: I agree. It was thoroughly written, except she forgot to mention the ages of the people involved. Also, for individual passbooks, 25 x 200 CFA = 5000 CFA and NOT 7000 CFA. Therefore, the total reimbursement should be for 16 650 CFA. Recommend funding provided that further information is provided. (SIDE NOTE: For statistical purposes, should we include fixed age ranges on the guideline sheet for how to fill out an application. Ex: Ages 0-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-25, 26-40, etc. Liz, I do not know how you go about compiling the statistics, but this might help keep the information received by PCVs consistent rather them creating their own age ranges.)
GAD Specialist: Great project. Shows community ownership. A good example of a project that is sustainable because it looks as if community will continue after PCV’s departure.
Recommend funding.

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