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Our Money, Our Movement - Building a Poor People's Credit Union

By: Alana Albee and Nandasiri Gamage

64 pages, B/w photos, figs

Practical Action Publishing

Paperback | Jan 1996 | #83027 | ISBN: 1853393886
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £9.95 $12/€11 approx

About this book

In every country in the world, money makes money. Without collateral it is virtually impossible to obtain the capital to respond to an emergency, to own permanent housing, or to start a small business. However, through the development of community savings schemes and small-scale credit, people on low-incomes in many countries have been able to strengthen local organizations and livelihood opportunities and thereby avoid under-nourishment, health troubles and many other problems associated with poverty - as a first step to improving their circumstances in a more significant and sustainable way. This example of a women's credit union in Sri Lanka, the Kanth Sahayaka Sewaya, shows the potential for low-income groups to work together to build confidence, mutual trust and saving potential until they are able to borrow - and to repay - substantial amounts of money for housing, small enterprise development and for subsistence in times of emergency. Their common fund also provides welfare payments and interest-free loans for schoolbooks and cultural activities for children, improving the quality of life for the participants in many important ways.


The canal bank - a short story; supporting emerging poor people's organizations; the credit union co-operative society - background to the credit union movement, the Women's Credit Union in Sri Lanka, a step-by-step approach to group formation, when things go wrong; more than money - social development and housing activities - the children's cultural programme, housing loans, additional social support; towards sustainability and scaling-up. Appendices: Sri Lanka - a situation analysis; the Women's Credit Union - statistical overview, December 1994; the Women's Credit Union - statistical overview of finance, December 1994; the "Praja Sahayaka Sewaya" and the million houses programme - background information.

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