Saving for Life Change

 In Food Security, Income Generation, Mondulkiri, Partners & Donors, Weekly update from the field

To support saving group’s members who wanted to scale up their businesses, One Action and CRDT have released a revolving fund in amount of $2,400 for them to use as internal loan. As a result, 6 members are using loans from revolving fund to scaling up their businesses–three enterprises of chicken raising, two enterprises of grocery shop and one enterprise of pig raising.

“Mean Chey” (in English: Success) is a name given to a Saving Group which was formed in September 2007 by 16 members as farmers living in Orana Village, Sre Khtum commune, Keo Seima District, Mondul Kiri Province. The purpose of the group is to mobilize people to work and support each other in terms of financial need and livelihood experiences sharing.

In the beginning, CRDT supported this groups over 2 years with capacity building on Group Formation, setting by-laws and regulations, training on bookkeeping then this group function itself as a solidarity social group in the village. Those days, the group had met many obstacles in their operation such as:

  • Monthly meetings were conducted by not regularly
  • Lack of trust among members
  • Lack of understanding about by-laws by members
  • Lack of security mechanism in money keeping including unclear bookkeeping.
  • Lack of loan to help members who want to improve livelihoods activities

In 2014, with funding support from OneAction, CRDT was able to work to strengthen this group again. Both their by-laws and structure were reformed, bookkeeping system was updated and members were trained again on the use of the system. Committee were further trained in Team Work, Group Management. Transparency was improved with participation of commune council offering himself to be an observer.

Soon, the number of members increases from day to day. Before 2014, there were only 24 members (21 Females) with $1,836 of total saving. Now there are 33 members (25 Female) with $3,347 total saving. So far, this group has already updated their by-laws and was recognized by commune council. All members trust their group management system.

Ms. Reng Hean who a cashier of this group said “I could count money from member to keep in box correctly and safely. But I was difficult to compare with the number of cash in book recorded by financial member that always not match to my real cash in box. Some members did not trust me and my capacity to record cash saved, so they left the group and sometime I also wanted to leave. After CRDT helped revise the system of our bookkeeping and trained us, I am more confident in my role.”

To support members who wanted to scale up their business in special chicken and vegetable, One Action and CRDT have released a revolving fund in amount of $2,400 for them to use as internal loan. As a result, 6 members are using loans from revolving fund to scaling up their businesses–three enterprises of chicken raising, two enterprises of grocery shop and one enterprise of pig raising. Four borrowers will pay back the loans in 4 months and 2 others will pay back in one year. The monthly interest rate of 1% was applied in order to generate group’s income.

Ms. Sres Ten is a member who has borrowed money from revolving fund to scale up her chicken raising business. She said that “Our previous problems is low capital to run our businesses and we don’t know where to find more capital. We want to borrow money from banks, but its process is slow and they need collaterals (ex. Land and house titles). And if we borrow money from lenders in the village they charge us too high interest rate (8-12% per month). We want to borrow money from our saving group, but it does not have enough money for us. Now, I am really happy to have the revolving fund loan and it really helps me and my family to improve our business. I will pay back this money to group on time to help other families who want to scale up their jobs as well.”

By Hach Chhorn, Project Manager in Mondulkiri Project Site

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