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Update on what has been happening with my women.

Am sorry i have not written ina while, i have been busy with a new project and finally we are got it running.
We started a mini microfinance project for the women. ( it works like a cooperative savings and laoning prorgam) This is a grassroot project. we had earliaer arranged training for the women by a microfinance instituiton but they were scared by the collateral and the english(most of the are illitrate) , they were alsoscared by the interest rate that is very high , and so we had to come up with some other way to develop them with their full partcipation.
We had a partnership with a swedish organisation and the government of Uganda and they have a project called co-save. This is a grassroot banking system, you do not need a building to get it running, you just need a small box, 3 bags, loan and saving books, and stamp and a constituion that helps in spelling the rules and how the co-save will oeprate.
Each member is supposed to buy shares 1-5 and then they are supposed to pay emergency fee( this is needed incase a problem arises) There is an interest rate of just 1% . Each time the women meet , they buy shares (these are recorded in their loan books) , they put in their request to get loans ( which they have done already and there is no money int he box now) and they alos pay back loans. There is no collateral but your neighbour makes sure you pay the money and a cycleis one year , after it is finished you get some of your savings.
This is a cool way to develop , they are eager to get loans that are ata low interest rate that they can afford and they do not have bank officals coming to them but fellow women who they know. Theya re happy with this and i have a group of 80 women in this.


JaniceW's picture

Wonderful news

I am thrilled with this news and know that many lives will be changed for the better because of this program. It is well documented how grassroots microfinance organizations directly benefit the communities they are involved with and empower the community well beyond just financial assistance. I applaud your efforts and no doubt, others will be inspired by your story. I look forward to hearing about the projects you are funding and their progress. Keep us posted and congratulations. It is an honour to have you as a member of PulseWire.
PulseWire Community Director

I think many women on PulseWire might like to replicate what you are doing! Please let me know if I understand the project.

A group of woman come together and essentially start a grassroots, local bank. Each buys shares - meaning they pool their money together and invest in the bank. This money is then available for micro loans at 1%. Each week, the women meet and continue to buy shares (invest) and make loans.

So, for example, if I took out a $1 loan, I would pay back $1.01 to the bank at the end of the year.
If I invested $1 worth of shares the bank, at then end of the year, I get back my $1 plus interest.

Thanks for your patience as I understand.

With love,

p.s. Is that you and your baby boy?

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

catriona33's picture



yah that is the way it works, but for us, we decided to meet once a month , this gives the women enough time to get money that they will save next term when we meet.
yes when they meet they continue to buy more shares , get loans and if the duration period for a loan is complete ,those who borrowed also return the money , .
yah this bank is so easy to especially for women that are illiterate.

Nope thats not me, i also work with child headed families and orphaned children , those are some of the kids from the child headed family.
may be you will send me your email adress and i can send you a monthly report with more details of what i do.

aliĝngix's picture

Good Idea

This sounds like an excellent program. All woman need a chance, and this is a chance to start out small and become confidant. thanks for sharing this idea with us.

consolata's picture

Noble idea!

If it was the time we were contesting for the Bold Ideas,this would have won with good grades! i urge you to keep up the fire burning. I will be watching how it works kindly keep us updated.

Hi Catriona

I worked for an organisation called the Self Help Development Foundation of Zimbabwe (SHDF). It is one of the largest NGOs in Southern Africa with a membership of more than 250 000 women who are run income generating projects.
The organisation was founded by Brother Waddelove more than 43 years ago and the idea was to teach women to save money so that they could finance their small projects and in return be able to care for their families. Br. Waddelove's slogan was, "Take care of your money today and it will take care of you tomorrow".

So these women were organised into what are known as savings clubs. They also have a consitution and they would open an account with a bank for the purposes of saving money collectively. They would do this under a tree and borrow money and return it with an interest so that they could continue to finance their projects. At the end of the year, they share the money based on how individuals would have been saving during the year. They meet once a week to save money and share ideas under a tree.

SHDF has been doing this for a long time. If you want to learn more about what they do google their website and get in touch with their Executive Director, Mrs. W. Vere so that you share ideas, experiences, challenges, successes and lessons leant.

Good luck!

Gertrude Pswarayi

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