CRS

Dusuba's new house! …evidence of SILC Success

Like most others in the village of Gberia Timbakor, Dusuba struggled to meet her family’s necessities––food, shelter, and education. With a husband and six children, her small rice and groundnut farm was not enough to meet those needs. That is, until she joined a SILC group through FRB's Sierra Leone-Koinadugu program. Now, she says, she has overcome all of her obstacles.

08/14/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Sirah saves money to start a small business in Sierra Leone

Sirah is one of the most respected farmers in her community today due to her hard work, ingenuity, and how she’s managed the money she’s saved through her SILC (Savings and Internal Lending Community) group. SILCs are supported by Foods Resource Bank’s Sierra Leone-Koinadugu program to enable and encourage farmers to save money for agricultural inputs and starting small businesses.

06/17/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Malawi, Self-help Group Members Set an Example for Others

A successful and socially conscious Savings and Internal Lending Community (SILC) in FRB’s Malawi-Kasungu-Mzimba program has used its emergency social fund to cheer the sick at a local hospital and health center.

All SILCs set aside a portion of the interest earned from loans for a “social fund” to cover members’ emergencies like illness, funerals, and calamities. This particular SILC had been fortunate enough not to have needed to use its fund, and the amount kept growing. Considering what to do with the money, the group decided to share the bounty at an area hospital and a health center with special donations.

05/22/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Kenya, the lives of women, girls and communities improve with earth dams

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“Tukiwa na maji, tutakuwa kama ulaya” (“If we have water, we shall be like the developed countries”) – Kitui program participant

In the Kitui region of Kenya, community-built water ponds, closer to home, collect seasonal rains and free women and girls from the drudgery of searching for water, waiting for hours in queues to collect it, and carrying it home, all of which can take up to 120 hours a month. Even in the face of the 3-year drought affecting the area, these earth dams are full for about half the year.

04/26/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Timor Leste, Community Dialogue Strengthens Partnership

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In FRB’s Timor Leste-Viqueque program, community leaders ensure buy-in by encouraging participants to try new techniques and seed varieties, give feedback, and express their views. Among the program’s focuses are making high-yielding corn seed available, teaching appropriate farming technologies, and coming up with effective grain storage to stop post-harvest losses to rats, insects and mold. For example, rather than hanging cobs from trees in the traditional manner, farmers are encouraged to store their grain and seed in airtight containers of various sizes such as plastic, jug-like “jerry cans,” zip-closed polyethylene “Grain Pro bags,” new or recycled drums, or in silos for water-, pest-, and fungal resistance.  No one solution has been perfect: rats have been known to gnaw through the plastic, and they haven’t been able to get the recycled oil drums clean enough even through several washings. But the collective ingenuity of the community is finding solutions to these challenges.

03/06/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Community Savings and Loan groups work to improve local bridge in Sierra Leone

A community-rehabilitated bridge in the Koinadugu community of Sierra Leone has become a “bridge to the future.” The new bridge is an example of how, when people from local Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILCs) contribute money and labor to improve their village’s infrastructure, everyone benefits.

01/30/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Importance of Community Participation in Reducing Post-Harvest Loss

Nicolao, a farmer in the Timor Leste - Viqueque program, lives with his wife Martinha and their two children. Each year he prepares his soil and plants maize, just like the other farmers in this remote and rural part of the country. Maize is the staple grain for most families here, and Nicolao depends on a good harvest so his family can have enough to eat throughout the year.

Nicolao plants what seeds are available to him, which are not the improved varieties, so he often has low yields when it is time to harvest.  After harvest he stores the grain as best he can, but he still loses between 25% and 30% of his crop each year to mold, rodents, and weevils.  There just is never enough to last throughout the year. Some of his neighbors sell their maize right after harvest. Although the prices are low, they at least receive something for their work instead of watching it rot, or be eaten by rodents.

01/21/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More
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