On November 30, 25 mothers from the bustling village of Cangumbang met with VFV workers Christina Born and Maila Lesterio.
Whilst the meeting started with a few lighthearted jokes and an amusing icebreaker game, the purpose of this gathering was far more ambitious, ultimately ending with the formation of Cangumbang’s first micro-financing initiative.
Initially conceived by VFV volunteer Christina Born, her hope now is to transform this concept into a reality, and in so doing break the cycle of poverty many families in the area face.
“In essence, members agree to save as much or as little as they like, with the possibility to apply for emergency and income generating loans after 3 and 6 months respectively.” Christina explains.
After deciding upon the appropriate name ‘Future Funds Club’, attendees and developers expressed enormous optimism for the program, and why not? Since the first micro-financing programs proved enormously successful on the Indian subcontinent their effectiveness in combating poverty has been witnessed across much of the developing world.
In her explanation of micro-financing Christina outlines the purpose of creating the program in Camgumbang:
“By participating together, members support one another in saving money. Once money is saved within the fund it’s less likely to be spent by participants or taken by their family members.”
Eventually, members will have the opportunity to apply for emergency and income generating loans. By enabling access to these services, members will not only have a safety net in the event of an emergency, but also access to manageable income generating loans. Through these loans Christina hopes to empower the people of Cangumbang, and provide them with loans to purchase farm animals, store supplies and even create successful businesses.
In the future, the hope is the Future Funds Club will become self-managed and self-perpetuating. In the mean time, VFV sponsorship coordinator Maila will continue to work with the fund to ensure it’s smooth start.
*written by Robin White, media intern from Australia