We started our income generation programme in March 2012. It works as follows. We provide a loan of Rs.20,000 to a mother towards the purchase of a cow. The mother will repay Rs.1000 each month. The cow will also provide milk for the family and also additional milk which can be sold. After 20 months the loan is repaid and the family can benefit from the milk. Every second year or so the cow will provide an extra calf and after about four years the first calf (if it is a female) becomes a mother and can be sold. This makes a huge difference to the family and totally transforms their lives.
The benefits of this programme are:
1. From day one the family are in receipt of nourishing milk
2. They can also use or sell the cow dung for fuel
3. They learn how to manage money and repay the loan. this gives them a great sense of pride
4. Each month the repayments are relent to other mothers.
5. Calves can be kept or resold.
In June 2013 20 of our mothers finished repaying their loans of 15,000 Indian rupees, which was the amount of the initial loan in 2012. Since the programme started 220 mothers and families have benefited from this program and they are all up-to-date with their loans. The loans are provided through their mothers self-help groups and each mother is aware that if she defaults on her loan the creditworthiness of the mother’s group will be affected. In turn the other mothers will help any mother who is having difficulty repaying the loan.
Rather than receiving a handout the loan is working very well and it has given them all a great sense of pride. We also charge 1% per month and this money is used for the third level education of their children.
Each month we send over enough money to cover the cost of about six loans. However, the repayments each month from the mother’s allows us to provide loans for an additional 10 cows. By the end of next year we expect to have provided loans for 600 cows and changed the lives of the recipients families.
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