Sister Dorothy Ettling Revolving Loan Fund Meetings

Had a great day yesterday – Saturday. We were in 3 villages – Bukugo, Itahwa, and Kitwe. Of course, we exchanged warm greetings in each place. In the first two we attended the monthly loan fund meetings. The Bujugo Zone has 128 BUWEA members in 28 groups and 70 of these women were there. In Itahwa 54 women from 25 area groups were there. Both groups have their meetings in parish churches. Coordinators Adventina and Consolatha collected payments from women with loans and also processed new loan applications. Their record keeping is very detailed. A Group (4-5 Women usually) attends together. The Group applies for a loan as a group; the Group leader gives out the funds for each of the women’s business projects, and when all in the Group have paid off the entire loan, the Group can come together and apply for a new loan. The money is constantly circulating. Women hold each other accountable and help each other Pay if need be. It’s a really amazing system! The loan interest is used partially to grow the fund and partly to pay for coordinator expenses. The women are learning so much in this process and their families benefit greatly. In Itahwa we met Father David – this is another parish now partnering with BUWEA for mutual benefit. In Bujugo it was wonderful to see some of the women on their bicycles from a US Embassy grant. It is unbelievable how life transforming a basic bicycle is here. Many many more are needed.

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