When it comes to microloan projects, there's always the question—will the money be returned?
Our field partner has had experience in these projects since 2006, when community development projects were implemented in 3 administrative villages in Huangzhong county of Qinghai province. The same model and methods that were used there have been used elsewhere.
Last year our partner visited one of the villages in the microloan project. They had offered tens of thousands of RMB to the village at the beginning, and the fund was left to the village when the project was completed. Our partner has distributed a total of 800,000 RMB ($120,000 USD) in loans in 10 years. With the efforts of the villagers, the village has changed a lot. The village committee also got a prize from the local government.
Lucha Village Project
TFish decided to support the pilot microloan project for Lucha village, although we weren't sure what the outcome would be.
The loans were primarily used for raising livestock, and most of the women decided on cows and sheep. Our partner had hoped the villagers could have some inspiration to try something different, but the women said they always considered raising cows or sheep to be good. At least we could relax knowing that everyone was making the best choice for themselves. Most of these women have been living in the village their whole lives. They seldom have had opportunities to see the outside world. So they thought it was safe to raise cows and sheep that could accompany them every day.
After the project was implemented, we wanted to check if the beneficiaries were women. Our partner has been visiting some households and women during the project implementation. He interviewed all the family members. The men expressed, “Since the loans were for the women, we supported them in that. We did not use the profit from their loans.” The women agreed. Some of the women purchased sheep to provide milk for their babies, which saves a lot of money.
The microloan was a small way of providing support; it could not solve the livelihood problems for a whole family. But the women sensed the care for them, which had transformed them little by little.
In April 2016, our partner went to collect the loans. Within a week, all of the loans (40,000 RMB/$6,000 USD) had been returned. The project was completed perfectly. And the women continued to take care of their livestock, for the sake of feeding their babies and providing new clothes.
Original article written by our field partner Mr. Ma, translated by Maggie Li, edited by Carolyn D.
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