Develop Women Savings & Credit Cooperative, Nepal

by Women Awareness Center, Nepal (WACN)

Thank you for all your support and donations to WACN’s work. With your help, over 300 women in rural Nepal this year have been able to change the course of their lives.

Maya Devi Sarki’s story is one of many from WACN that shows that when women are given an opportunity to earn their own income, they change not only their financial circumstances but also their role in Nepalese society.

Maya is a member of a savings and credit cooperative. She has 5 daughters and as a result was abused by her family for failing to deliver a son. She felt her future was bleak. However, a friend persuaded her to join the cooperative and after becoming a member she realized the importance of earning an income. By saving regularly she has been able to take out several loans ranging from NRs 5,000-15,000 and has paid them all back on time. She established a small business where she buys vegetables from her village and takes them to market to sell. She now earns NRs500 per day from this. She was even able to support a family member with their own business venture.

Maya is full of praise for the flexible way the loans are administered. The interest rates are very reasonable and allow her to borrow when she needs money so she doesn’t need to use her earnings as collateral. Her financial resources, financial stability and standards of living have broadened with each passing month. Maya is proud her work supports the people in her village. She enjoys her work very much and says she feels respected in her family and her community.

Maya’s story shows how women can be empowered through programs that involve women from the start and address their concerns. Before joining WACN, Maya had no control over or access to resources. Through the savings program, she now has both and is playing an active role in the community. But there is more still to be done. WACN has supplied us the details of their current activities and we have posted new project information here: , project ID #6053.


WACN works to empower women through a Savings and Credit Cooperative model. They assist a group of at least 5 women in one village to form these cooperatives. The women save money with the cooperatives and when there are sufficient funds it is possible for women to take a loan.

To be strong cooperative and ensure women can receive the full benefit of being part of cooperative, the women need to know how to run the cooperatives effectively. WACN organizes practical trainings for group members to learn how to keep accounts and manage loans. Since our last update 22 members of the Shree Kamala Devi Savings and Credit Cooperative from Padampur, Chitwan have participated in their first practical training.

The women were encouraged to voice their expectations and training objectives were consequently structured to address these concerns.

The training session covered: • The meaning and importance of different cooperative account topics • The materials needed for proper account keeping such as: day book, invoice, savings register, individual loan disbursement and repayment register, pass book, loan sheet, journal vouchers and assets, liabilities, income and expenditure account books • How to keep journals vouchers and other accounting methods • How to calculate interest on savings and loans • How to make a plan and conduct activities according to that plan • The role of debit and credit

At the end of training, participants were able to prepare receipts, calculate loan interest, savings and income, fill out a pass-book and expenditure account books.

A 4-day cooperative refresher training has also been accomplished for 10 members of the Makwanpur Cooperatives. Participants were pre-selected for the refresher as they had all previously completed cooperative education training.

Training included: • The importance of saving (the types and processes) • Loans: types, disbursement and repayment • Importance and principles of cooperatives • Duties and responsibilities of management, loan and account committees

Each participant was given a different topic and asked to facilitate classes. Now each of the 10 participants is able to confidently facilitate trainings on her own and is now able to share their information with their respective cooperatives.

By donating to WACN you are ensuring more women can benefit from participating in these cooperatives.

Thank you for your support.

On Tuesday, March 16, all donations up to $1,000 per donor, per project will be matched. Maximize your gift, have a greater impact. Donate on Tuesday, March 16, 2010. International Women's Day was this week, and to celebrate amazing and strong women, we wanted to share with you some of the great work going on at WACN. In their most recent report WACN highlighted key areas: Training on Women’s Rights WACN conducted a 3-day legal training session for 35 members of cooperatives. The training focused on the interests and expectations of the women. In particular they talked about the Human Trafficking and Transportation (Control) Act, (enacted to reduce the number of women and girls forced into bonded labor). They also discussed the various forms of violence against women in Nepal. These included domestic, gender-based, physical, sexual, emotional, economic and psychological violence. Sadly, the many forms of violence against women in Nepal remain largely invisible. Women are often too ashamed to discuss or report it and often face further repercussions if they do so. This type of training begins to break down those barriers. In addition to details about domestic violence, women were given information on divorce, property rights and legal information concerning rape, marital rape, and abortion. Unfortunately, men did not attend any of the trainings. WACN is now strategizing as to how best to involve them in this dialogue in the future. Sustainable Agricultural Training In late December, WACN held a 4-day agricultural training for 25 members of 2 cooperatives. The goal was create awareness on the importance of soil management for sustainable agriculture. Participants were taught that sustainable soil management techniques make the best use of the land and also increase crop yields. The training was structured to build the skills and confidence of local women farmers. WACN also encouraged those women who attended the training to share the information with other farmers in the community. This type of training method has shown to be effective for women to improve their economic situation and encourage them to seek support from each other. The training included: • Composting • Using farmyard manure and urine for fertilizer • Organic pesticide preparation • Vegetable nursery management for production of vegetable seedlings • Dangers of soil erosion as this results in lower productivity and increased production costs from the excessive use of chemical fertilizers

Our latest update from field reports on a successful 4-day training on cooperative education.

Although 30 women of the Padampur area were expected to attend, 48 participants were present. Topics discussed included: • The importance of savings in the cooperative • Registration process of informal groups in the cooperative • Advantages and disadvantages of cooperative membership • Management and accounting skills • Duties and responsibilities of the members and management body of the cooperative • Key principles of cooperative society • Importance of the rules and bylaws in the cooperative • Importance of saving and its types • Importance of loan and process of taking loans

Additionally, monthly meetings of the management committee of the cooperative were conducted.

WACN also delivered 2 months of embroidery training to 10 members of the cooperative in collaboration with small cottage office in the district cooperative.

We hope you know how much an effect your support has on individual lives. Lives like Bimala, a 46 year old woman and WACN cooperative member.

Bimala Since becoming part of the cooperative, Bimala is able to save Rs 100 (US$1.30) per month for herself, and also save the same amount for each of her daughters, her daughter-in-law and two granddaughters. For income, she is raising a water buffalo. It produces 7 liters of milk per day. She keeps 1 liter (a little over 2 pints) for her family to drink and sells the rest to her neighbors for Rs 25 per liter.

Besides this, she is responsible for collecting money for the electricity bills in the village and travels to the district headquarters in order to pay them. "Being a member of the cooperative,” Bimala says, “I enjoy helping other fellow women and the people of my village.”

Sita Sita is another woman who has benefited from your support. Sita is 36 years old and has 2 daughters and 1 son. When she first joined, she took out a loan of of Rs 5,000 in order to raise goats. She is happy to report that she making her repayments on time. "The money lender charges 36% interest. In the cooperative, we receive a loan with a better rate of 15%,” says Sita. “It is easy to take a loan and do what we need with it." She added that she has also opened an account for her 2 daughters.

Her husband works as a welder, but her supplemental and steady income from raising goats means that now all three of her children are able to go to school. Sita says being a member of the cooperative has changed her family’s economic situation and she feels more empowered to make decisions for her family.

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Organization Information

Women Awareness Center, Nepal (WACN)

Location: Gyaneswor, Khatmandu - Nepal
Project Leader:
Gillian Wilson
IDEX Latin America Program Director
San Francisco, CA United States

Funded Project!

Thanks to 121 donors like you, a total of $7,569 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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