Learning to manage your money
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CTA. 2001. Learning to manage your money. Rural Radio Resource Pack 01/3. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57231
Christine Tanyi explaining some of the secrets behind the success of CAMCCUL, the co-ordinating body for credit unions in Cameroon
Learning to manage your money Cue: In Cameroon, credit unions have become a popular way for poorer people to access credit. Members of a credit union pool their savings in a fund which individuals can borrow from, at interest. A co-ordinating body for the credit unions, called CAMCCUL, trains the union members in how to manage their money. However, attempting to strengthen poor people?s livelihoods by increasing their access to credit has sometimes had the opposite effect: it can put more pressure on families as they try to earn a profit from a loan and keep to a fixed repayment schedule. CAMCCUL has tried to address these problems, as Christine Tanyi, an assistant general manager of CAMCCUL explained to Martha Chindong. Martha began by asking Christine whether providing loans to people with very little money had proved an effective way of relieving poverty. IN: ?Money is not how much? OUT: ?where he or she is involved.? DUR?N 3?48? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Christine Tanyi explaining some of the secrets behind the success of CAMCCUL, the co-ordinating body for credit unions in Cameroon. Transcript Tanyi Money is not how much you have it?s how well you can use the little you have. With the little money they have they are being taught how to manage it well. This is one major activity of the credit union to educate the members how to use the little money. And how do they educate them? They encourage them to save. So they understand this and they make sure that they try to save just a bit, little by little. We even have our poster which we say ?Drop by drop forms a mighty ocean.? Chindong What of the loans, when they take are they able to pay back with ease? Tanyi I want to assure you that the best results we have on loan repayments come from the rural area because they take just what is enough for them for their farming and it is programmed in such a way that they start repaying when they are harvesting. Therefore it is at their convenience and they pay gradually until they complete the repayments. And they have programmed it in such a way that by the next season they must have finished repaying and come for the next loan. Chindong How is the repayment of credit union loans scheduled? Tanyi The repayment schedule is drawn up by the member himself or herself according to his or her capability. The time limit of any loan can not exceed 36 months. And therefore, you have to estimate how you are going to be repaying in order to finish within 36 months. Chindong There is another point that people believe that when they give money to women, you know, they make the women poorer because they have to spend time managing the loan, they have to do other housework and they will not really have time to use the loan well in order to pay back? Tanyi Yes still in this scheme they try to educate them how to come out with a feasibility study. Therefore for any project a woman wants to do, the officials of the department they come, they go out and try to guide the woman how to come out with a feasibility study and take into cognisance all her other activities. So if you say you want to do buy-and-sell, they try to find out when will you take care of your husband, your children and so forth. They try to time the activities, and this has worked very well. Chindong CAMCCUL seems to be succeeding in all its activities including managing the rural women as you have just said. What is the secret behind CAMCCUL and its successes? Tanyi Trying to educate the masses on credit unionism, the first step is to make them understand that as they are members of the credit union, they own the credit union. They are the ones responsible for the management, and you can imagine if you know that this thing I?m doing belongs to me, you take all your time to do it, and therefore it must succeed. And of course the one vital point again is accountability. There is a lot of accountability in the credit union and therefore every member is confident of where he or she is involved. End of tape.