This week we had our monthly meeting in Phnom Penh for our village leaders. We used this meeting to discuss one thing which we have been thinking about recently.
We do a lot of children's work in the provinces, which is very important, however the work we do with the adults or families of the children is limited. We spent Tuesday afternoon discussing how we could help these families, many of whom are poor with no regular job. We believe firmly in 'hand-ups' not 'hand-outs' so we're considering a small loans system which would see us lend $50 to $250 to enable small or home business startups.
Some of the opportunities being discussed were:
- Raising pigs
- Raising chickens
- Growing crops
- Rice milling
- Selling food
These opportunities require relatively little start-up capital, however this capital is out of reach of the families. There are money lenders who charge high interest rates and there are some banks who have onerous conditions so people are reluctant to use them. We believe that our local knowledge and presence in the villages is a strength. The strong relationship we have with the families will give us greater confidence that the funds will be paid back
This project will be small initially, hopefully it will be successful and we will be able to grow it although this will depend on repayment rates and our financial resources.
If any of our readers are interested in knowing more about this initiative or would consider putting up startup capital then please contact us directly.