WHO SOWS KNOWLEDGE WILL REAP INDEPENDENCY.
Improving the educational situation, especially for the girls, is essential for a long-term improvement of the living conditions. Since the manpower of a child is ‘lost” when it is attending school, we also promote the economic development of the whole family in addition to a guaranteed school education for the child. With the help of our project activities the families are to earn enough income to enable the children to attend school. As in Mugu, we provide our guiding idea of ‘helping others help themselves” by establishing, ensuring or organizing:
• Savings groups
• Solar light / solar energy
• Smokeless stoves
• Health camps
Since many families have just become sedentary one generation ago, they do not have any agricultural experience. That is why we are conducting workshops on topics such as agriculture and livestock farming to improve productivity and income opportunities. A constant focus of our work: Several savings groups are being set up in some villages and each household is represented with at least one member. The members themselves choose their chairman/chairwoman, treasurer and secretary. Everything is guided and supervised by our social workers. The groups hold regular meetings and agree on a savings amount to build up their own small capital stock. And after roughly one year of shared savings, the village community can change their living conditions positively – for the first time in their lives.
Each member of the group can then apply for a small loan and it is democratically decided if it will be granted. The interest rate is no higher than 2 per cent. This makes it possible for the poorest of the poor to get a loan. At a regular bank, they would have never had a chance and shady businessmen grant loans to the poor at exorbitant prices, which often drives the poor into lifelong liabilities and dependency. Fair microcredits allow families to build an independent livelihood, open a shop, buy tools or a sewing machine, or buy seeds for farming to improve their future income situation.