On Saturday I visited the church of Lun Sokom, here is a quick update about the project at this church.
About a year ago they started a saving group in the church. The 20 members of the group (both Christians and non), each save 1000 reil ($.25) every month. They have also been giving out small loans of about $15-$25 to the members (repayable in 3 months). Three members took loans last year in order to buy feed to start raising chickens. They pay 3% interest. According to an earlier plan, they would start the savings group and after they demonstrated it's success, then CHAD would come in to provide additional capital (around $500), which would allow the group to give larger loans out to the members. I went to evaluate their progress and also to introduce the curriculum "Mobilizing the Church", which is a bible study designed to facilitate group formation.
The group has been functioning successfully so far. However, before we contribute to the capitol, they need to have the group by-laws in writing, so that there is a clear understanding about what will happen when folks enter or leave the group, etc. We also want to formalize their record keeping. Finally, the group suggested that they open an account with Acelde Bank since they will now have a larger sum of money that needs to be handeled. Step by step we can see progress.