PCV 13 April 2010

Brief Project Description:
I have started a Village Savings and Loan Association with women who frequent a Catholic social services center. The organization is run by three Catholic sisters who provide help to children with malnutrition, help with orphans, and find aid for women in difficult situations. Currently there are 31 women in the group of women who will save money and give loans together. There are discussions of doing another task together to form solidarity.

The women I am working with meet every 2 weeks, putting their savings into a group- owned cash box. After a period of time each woman will be able to take out loans that will finance income generating activities. Their savings are recorded in a passbook using a stamp to signify each share that is bought. Village Savings and Loan Groups imitate credit unions but adapt them to the village setting. This group has the potential to give these women ownership in their own future and in the group itself. The experience also gives the opportunity for these women to participate in income generating activities.

Under this model the women will save money and give loans for a 9 month cycle. They will buy 1-5 shares in the group at a rate of 100f per share. After one year they will divide their savings based on the number of shares that were purchased by each person. The women will also benefit from the interest that has been gained through the loans and fines. The women also collect 50cfa per meeting for a security fund. If there is a problem with the health of a member they can ask to take money from the security fund. I will be attending the meetings with the women to ensure accurate bookkeeping and manage problems, but I feel confident that through the trainings the women will be able to eventually run the meetings and continue a second cycle after the first year. In this way the capacity building goal of Peace Corps can be met.

Dates of Project: Beginning 17 March 2010 and going through a 9 month cycle
Number of People Involved: There are 31 members involved in this group, all women. The management committee is made up of the President, Secretary, Treasurer, and 3 key guardians. The President is in charge of opening the meeting and making sure the meeting runs smoothly. The Secretary is in charge of recording the share purchases of each member of the group and recording the totals of savings taken and loans given. The Treasurer guards the lock box during the week and helps the Secretary in making her calculations. It is also necessary that the key holders are in attendance because without all 3 keys the box cannot open. This provides transparency and security for all members because the box can only be opened in the presence of the other members at the meetings. Through providing loans in a group, the women are made accountable to each other for repayment and are given the opportunity to do take part income generating activities.
Budget:

Item Number Unit Price Cost
Metal Box 1 15.000 CFA 15.000 CFA
Ruler 1 100 CFA 100 CFA
Passbooks for savings 31 100 CFA 3.100 CFA
Locks 3 250 CFA 750 CFA
Inkpad and Ink 1 100 CFA 100 CFA
Total Cost 19.750 CFA

Amount Requested: 19.750CFA

Comments

GAD Coordinator: Yay for VSLAs. I don’t think I got receipts from her, but assuming she provides them, recommend funding.
GAD Finance: She should provide the age breakdown of the women. Recommend funding.

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