Hand up not a hand out
Many subsistence farmers have traditionally lacked access to banks and other financial institutions and those they have had access to charge premium interest rates which makes taking out a loan either impossible or unaffordable.
The Livingstone Tanzania Trust offers affordable loans to community groups. These registered groups, mostly women but men welcome, agree to repay the loan in full with an agreed affordable interest. The loan must be fully repaid before the loan can be reissued. It is therefore the communities responsibility to ensure that each person works hard with their payments and that they make up any shortfalls than may occur.
The loans programme will run for a period of 5 years and by year 3 we would expect the community to be investing their savings into the system so that when the loans are withdrawn their own savings can be used instead.
Loans have currently been issued to Sawe Community Group, the Waangwaray Community Group, the Managhat Farming group, Waangwaray Teachers and Sawe Teachers, the Waangwaray Primary School and the Sinai Primary School.
Year One generated an average profit of £110 off a £60 loan while in Year Two, the loans generated a profit of £154 off a loan of £77
While the outcome of the loans has been the increased domestic income the impact that that money has had is varied:
· 71% of the members said that they standard of living has been improved
· 13% specifically mentioned that their accommodation had improved
· 3% said it had changed their live
· 3% said it brought new hope to their life
· 55% said that their children had their school fees paid
· 48% said their child’s accommodation had improved
· 16% said that there was now more food at home for the children