Microfinance works

Last month we handed out 35 loan cheques to mothers who will buy a cow. We also gave out 45 loans to mothers to fund their children’s third level education.

Since we started our micro finance program we have issued 1100 loans to our mothers in order for them to earn an income and to improve their overall living standard and to fund their children’s education. We have a 100% repayment rate and our loan book is now such that the repayments every month enable us to issue 25 new loans.

The mothers learn how to manage money, they earn the self respect of their family and their peers. They know that every repayment every month enables another mother to get closer to receiving her loan.

Over the last few years we have been changing the culture from one of our mothers receiving handouts to one of receiving loans. They are beginning to see the benefits of this.

A major benefit for us is our sponsors money is used more efficiently. The same euro is recycled time and time again

Many mothers join our programs in order to benefit from our child sponsorship program. (handout)

Our objective is that within three years of joining a mothers self help group a mother will receive a loan to purchase a cow.

The income she can learn from a cow is way above the handout we give in the form of child sponsorship. Increasingly also we are only including in our sponsorship program children of widows or from broken homes or single parents. We try to ensure that the money goes to those most needy.

No Helmets 

Probably less than one in 100 motorcycle riders or passengers in rural India wear a crash helmet . In India a motorcycle is referred to as a two wheeler. 🙂

Above is a photograph of a father with his 10-year-old son hanging onto the fathers belt in order to ensure the two sacks of flour or rice don’t fall off the back.

It’s a very familiar sight to see a father with a three or four-year-old in front of him and the mother sitting side saddle with a six or eight month old child. There seems to be total disregard for safety.

2015-09-23 15.26.18India has 1% of the world’s cars but 6% of the world’s road deaths. It’s evidently illegal not to wear a crash helmet but it seems the law is ignored.

Our staff use motor cycles to visit villages and I made it quite clear to them that they must use a crash helmet.

We are half way there

I arrived in Chennai and immediately made my way to the site where our rural development centre is under construction. 

We expect to complete the building and have the official launch and opening on 14th February 2016. If you would like to visit India and see the real India you are invited to attend the opening. We are going to organise a number of days visits to some of our different programmes and villages and mothers groups. 

None of this would be possible without the very generous donations of a number of individuals. 

This building will enable us to better serve the 2000 families which we currently help and would hope to double this within two years.