Mercy Corps began working with Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) groups in Central African Republic in 2008. Mercy Corps facilitated the formation of 30 VSLA groups, of which about 72 percent of membership was comprised of women. During the pilot phase of the program, VSLAs saved a total of $26,863, 448 percent of the expected target. The average saving amounted to $41.45 per person. Drawing off this capital, 979 loans were taken out and more than 97 percent of them were repaid. All of the interest went back into the fund and was paid out to the VSLA members at the end of the cycle at an average annualized return of 32.7 percent.
Building off its initial success working with VSLAs, Mercy Corps now works with 165 groups with 3,417 members. The average savings per member is $54.74 and the average loan size is $78.76. A total of 2,487 loans were in circulation as of the end of January 2011, and approximately 90% of members have taken loans since the start of the program. Members can use the capital repeatedly and monitoring data shows that there is a 48% profit on business enterprises and 180% profit on original capital.
Mercy Corps has developed and conducted a training module on basic business skills for VSLA members. The module, called Participatory Budgeting, enables beneficiaries to plan their business cycles, including the use of limited human resources and other assets, and leverage their loans to invest productively in their enterprises.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
Still want to help?
Support another project run by Mercy Corps that needs your help, such as: