This year, village loans were provided to four villages, totaling over $16,000. Each village Economic Development Committee received one-on-one training to create a business plan.
The four villages who received new loans decided to divide their approximately $4,000 loan to provide micro-loans for individual villagers. Individuals invested in small businesses like raising and selling chickens or selling charcoal.
Many villages have found that individuals can obtain a substantially higher profit than the village can through a collective village loan.
This year has been a dynamic one for our loan program. We always seek to work hand-in-hand with villagers to determine the best way we can help them to help themselves. This year, we learned from villagers that they want to break up their village loans into micro-loans for individual villagers. These loans are used to invest in such projects as purchasing tools for their gardening, starting small shops and buying fertilizer. We were amazed to learn that villages that have split up their loans like this have seen much higher profits! One villager in Famana even gained 84% profit on his individual loan!
Our in-country loan coordinator, Alou, says that our strongest asset is that we have created such a strong relationship with villagers. It is because of this strong relationship of trust that we’ve been able to see a 92% loan repayment rate.
We invite you help us fund 12 new village loans this year. We still need over $8,000 to reach our goal. Let us know what you think of this update by leaving feedback in the comments section below.
Village loan projects are bringing about stability and financial security in the villages around Ouelessebougou, Mali. Our economic development team traveled to Mali in October, 2008 to visit the villages. We found that of the more than $100,000 in loans that we have given to villages, we have a 95% repayment rate! Villagers are grasping the importance of credit and are using it to lift themselves out of poverty. The village of Famana is excited to take out a larger loan this year, because they have confidence now that they can repay it.
The village chief of Solo said, "Since we started our loan project we feel more secure. Now we can face our problems with confidence because we have a way to earn. We know that the Alliance projects work. The foundation was laid by the Alliance to begin our progress to free us from poverty.”
~ Koyiri Doumbia, Solo Chief
These lasting changes would not be possible without the generosity of our global donors. Thank you so much for your support!
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Five successful village loan projects were repaid in 2006, allowing the Alliance to reissue all five loans to new villages. The Alliance was also able to extend two more loans this year. The new villages have chosen to use their funding for fiber, grain bank and fertilizer projects.
The quality of business training has also increased with the introduction of "How to start your own Business," a ProLiteracy manual translated into the local dialect of Bamanakan. Native Economic Development Coordinator, Alou Doumbia works closely with an assigned Peace Corps volunteer to assist village committees with their new business.
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