Development in Co-operation with Community Part 2

Continuing on from our last blog where we shared about the importance of involving the community and taking them on the development journey together, we have two more projects to introduce:

In October 2018, Josh, Peta, Board Member David and Representative Dr Tessema Bekele visited Project J750N Direct Reach Ethiopia (DRE). The DRE team believes strongly in personal sustainability for beneficiaries and is working with families in the program to achieve their greatest hope of being able to stand on their own and allow other needier people to receive assistance instead of them.

Starting with business training and marketing, beneficiaries form savings groups where each member commits a small amount each time they meet into the group savings. Those who present sound business plans are able to receive a loan from the group funds, to be repaid over 3-6 months. The program has seen a number of families graduate – that is, reaching a point where they are self-sufficient and can stand on their own and support their family’s needs. Other outcomes realised from this program include improved social confidence and support networks, as well as health improvements and increased self-efficacy.

A similar program is being undertaken by 782N Les Pêcheurs Development Project in Madagascar. This project has worked with over 200 families, assisting them to establish and build profitable businesses through training and business mentorship. A focus on specificity of business skills training and support as well as grouping intakes according to the capacity of the candidate has resulted in improved income due to greater business performance, on-time loan repayments as well as a greater than 90% repayment rate. The most significant outcome of this project however is the improved quality of life for the business owner and their families.