October 2007: The first Zahana micro credit program, run by the community, was launched by loaning very small amounts of money to the Zahana Womens Club in Fiadanana to purchase livestock.
Seeds and tools were purchased with help of the micro credit as well. Profits from the sale of goods with be divided between the members and used to buy the next round of animals and seeds.
Crops and animals need time to grow. It may take
months or years to evaluate, refine and solidify this new venture but
the villagers are clear that with a small amount of money there are a
number of entrepreneurial ventures for them to pursue.
It is Zahana’s goal to create a community based lending system in and for both villages Fiadanana and Fiarenana. In many communities where people live from subsistence agriculture, the lack of access to cash for emergencies or purchasing goods or new seeds is a major obstacle for improving quality of life or overcoming poverty. Making cash available to the community members at reasonable rates is a vital step to addressing this common problem.
It is Zahana’s philosophy that micro credit works best when it is community run, administered and controlled. The closer the lender and the borrower are to each other, the better a truly community run microcredit can work.
To initiate a micocredit program Zahana will need to provide the seed money and training needed to run the program sucessfully. Financial or in kind (such as seeds) matching contributions by the villagers as a buy-in might complement the fund.
Zahana has currently a dedicated microcredit project with GlobalGiving. Click here to learn more