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Isal albert

Micro-Finance Programme is initiated with the goal to improve living standards of women in Zimbabwe which involves savings and internal lending. In line with a growing trend women who are economically active are targeted, focusing on the support and improvement of their income generating activities and micro-business activities. This programme is only practised by few groups of women in the country and in most cases it is done by few selected women who are in towns, so the aim is to make sure that it cascades down to every homestead in the rural areas. It is the right of every women to be educated empowered economically. The programme will be organized through the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development with the aim of enabling women to Form strong and cohesive groups. It is going to be our responsibility as a Ministry to make sure that every woman in the community has something to do in as much as savings and internal lending will be concerned. These women will mobilize their own savings, which will be used as capital for their income generating activities, consumption and other basic needs. As the facilitators of the project will make sure that the women understand how to manage their own resources and activities, understand why they should be their Own Savers, Own Bankers and Own Lenders
Explain the Trainings Objective The programme is aimed to support micro-entrepreneurs through group formation and capacity building, continued savings and internal lending, as well as training on basic business matters. The idea is to build the capacity of communities to be able to mobilize and manage financial resources so that they can satisfy their productive and non-productive or consumption needs. It is the responsibility of the Ministry officials to make it clear to the women that the project does not give any loans neither does it directly give any other material benefits to groups. Loans are given from the group savings from which they derive material benefits. The Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Developments mandate is to see these groups of women continue with the savings and internal lending even after the project has withdrawn.

The projects approach is developed from traditionally known savings mechani sm called Rounds locally. Under this, groups normally give one member at a time a given amount, which the member immediately uses for household needs without repayment. The next time is another member in the group until all the five members in the group would have received their chances. There are other groups who save for more than one month up to a year. These groups which save over a long period may keep their money in a bank where they hope to earn interest. In such cases it will be the responsibility of the Ministry officials to assist the women to open accounts whereby there will be a need to have a constitution as well as an executive committee for that group. Our responsibility will be to assist with technical information only and give them the platform to decide on their own whom do they want to be their own leaders. What will be different with this project will be that it encourages groups of women throughout the country to be their own banks. It encourages groups to give loans to members in the groups which they repay with interest at the end of a month or whatever period. At the end of the year the money will grow from interest and savings that will continue. Their fund grows much faster from this savings and internal lending than from keeping it in a bank. (Use charts on fund growth and savings growth to illustrate) Through continued regular savings and interest on internal loans the group fund grows and allows for bigger loans in the future. Thus the group members as in business activities will benefit more and more on monthly basis. It will be the responsibility of the Ministry to train women on this project throughout the country and will take the advantage that in every district there is an office of the Ministry and hence those Ministry officials at the district level will be responsible with these trainings. One training manual will be used so as to make sure that everything becomes uniform in the whole country. This will be an advantage especially when it comes to the implementation and evaluation part of it. It will be very easy to compare these districts on how they will be progressing, it will be easier to take note of the weaknesses and the strengths and hence a standard format should be in place.

WORK PLANNING

There must be a work plan in place and this work plan must be followed by the training officers from the Ministry and this will guide the officers on each days activity. The success of the programme in attaining targets depends on careful planning of ones activities on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Each activity must be planned for to ensure effective resource, time and task management and at the same time reduce stress that goes with lack of planning.

1. Time planning Convenient time: Time for all sessions held must be convenient to group members.. Punctuality: Always maintain punctuality, otherwise the community will copy you. Time management: Manage your time well, since the community members have other activities to do. 2. Geographical planning a. Identify and select a central point/area where you will start mobilizing groups. b. Maintain your groups within a radius of 2.5 to 5 kilometers of the area. c. Discuss with the respective women your coverage plan.

NB: Beginning your trip to the field


a. b. c.

Prepare a DAILY REMINDER LIST in case you must take something with you. Prepare a TRAINING TOOLKIT LIST for what you need to train for the day. Prepare a SESSION PLAN which will help to guide your session.

Venues a. Choose the Right venue: venues must be convenient for the training, use of flip charts, sitting arrangement and accessible by all including the disabled and elderly. Tell them your expectations. b. Accessible venue: people must not walk long distances to the venue. They get tired or it becomes risky and they may decide not attend. c. Number of sessions: Two sessions can be conducted per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Plan and agree on the appropriate time with the women.

PRINCIPLES ON GROUP TRAINING

This internal lending and savings training is designed to suit the needs for both the literate and illiterate women in the community. The adult participants have real life experiences and real life needs, which are invaluable to them. They equally, so need the training to be useful to them and also to be tapping on their experiences. This

requires innovation; maturity, responsibility and accountability from the trainer while more importantly making the adults participate in the process.

Training Offered It is always important for the trainer to give a summary for each of the modules that will be covered in the training. Group member selection should be independent and should be as follows: Member Self Selection: the trainer should facilitate the individual self-selection and screening. The foundation of a group is the individual. Each individual needs to know her personality, the strengths and weaknesses, interests and dislikes. There is need to know oneself before rushing to know the other. Groups and Leadership: Once each member has done a self-screening process they need to know how to screen the other members that they may want to form a group with. The bond to a cohesive group is being able to know the characters of your group members. Know their good and bad attributes, their status; what motivates them, their household social and economic characteristics. Once a group is formed by members who know each other they need to select among themselves group leaders. The qualities and functions of a group need to be known so that members select those that are capable and the selected should know what they are expected to do. Constitution: The programme provides only a framework of what groups engaged in savings and credit need to think about and put in place for their activities to give them positive results. There is need to know and agree on membership criteria, savings amounts and frequency, what happens in the event of loan default, death of a member, when to share amounts, interests to charge and meetings. Each group needs to have an objective towards which members will save towards. Each group should have a constitution written by the women in that group. The women need to understand the importance of a constitution and that they are not static. Group Fund Development: Groups learn how they can build their own fund, through efficient savings and internal lending amongst members. The methodology promoted is not new to the community but only adds new ideas and to become formal to what community members already practice and know. Groups need to understand why they should charge interest on their own money,the trainer should be in a position to explain this to the women. Record keeping: Past experience has shown that group dealing with money has problems because there are no records and that not all members understand their records. Members need to share the importance of records and what records they think they need to keep for savings and credit. Guide participants on the record systems that KI is promoting. Give a summary for each of the modules that will be covered in the The project also discourages groups from accessing loans from banks as this is usually very costly and may leave the community members much poorer. (Use chart on costs of accessing loans externally)