Today we continue with Part II of our blog post on KAF (Self-Financed Communities Association) and its work with local communities in Indonesia, training them on the basics of "Microfinance".
A personal tale about the rewards that come with teaching poor people how to be self-financed.
Don’t miss Part I of this very personal story!
In KAF, a group of people get together to help each other by contributing amounts of money to a common box (savings or micro-investments), from which they can be granted credits, under the terms previously defined and agreed by the group members. Interests paid for credits belong to members, who will normally share them periodically, usually depending on the level of individual investments made.
So there it was; love at first sight. KAF and I were bound together. This is what I decided to go and prove in Indonesia. I’m now dedicating my life to making KAF available to as many people around the world as possible. Why? Because the results I have seen have convinced me:
- SELF-Funding: people do not need our money or charity but rather our know-how or experience, so they can learn how to better use their own money. Because, as incredible as it might sound, even the poorest communities have enough money to cover basic needs themselves; they too can be self-sufficient. Moreover, if the money comes from your family, neighbours or friends, you are most likely to pay it back than if it comes from a rich donor or institution, as the “peer pressure” kicks in.
- SELF-Management: people are the ones who know what they really need, so let them decide for themselves what they need the money for and let them manage it. They might not know how to read or write, but they will for sure know how to count money.
- SELF-Capabilities: learning how to save will teach you how to pay back your debt. Learning how to make decisions, how to manage conflicts within the group and how to handle finances will increase your individual capabilities and those of the group. Education makes a real difference.
- SELF-Support: money comes from members, so investments in the group help support other members and therefore the community, reducing the dependency on external aid and/or funds.
- SELF-Empowerment: members strengthen their capabilities and increase their self-esteem becoming more confident to speak up and to take over responsibilities, empowering themselves with others and within the community.
KAF is simple, easy to learn and it starts working from the first day, no need for long training sessions. Honestly, I can’t think of anything better when it comes to contributing to real sustainable development… but you might want to hear from some Indonesian KAF members directly:
Our strategy is to train women from the local communities on the KAF methodology so they can contribute to the development of their own people and, as an exchange, grow and empower themselves—becoming what we call “KAF Starters”. Starting a new group and supporting it for a year only requires €50 per month (about $62), which will be used to pay for the Starters’ work as educators for the communities. We would like to train Starters in Indonesia.
Would you like to join “The Other Microfinance” movement and contribute to the empowerment of community based organizations and women?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if you are interested in joining and supporting our mission. Thank you for your attention and collaboration!
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