THE NEWSLETTER OF THE ECUMENICAL CHURCH LOAN FUND JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
ECLOF tsunami response
Following last December’s tsunami that hit
the east coast of Sri Lanka with such dev-
astating force, ECLOF Sri Lanka has geared
up its operations to help those affected by
ECLOF Sri Lanka is now examining the
possibility of making loans available for
reconstruction-related activities, as well as
for working capital to allow people who
lost premises and tools to restart their busi-
nesses or begin new ones.
Following a visit to Sri Lanka after the tsuna-
mi for discussions with the ECLOF Sri Lanka
board, ECLOF International director Shanthi Siriyalatha shows Muhungi Kanyoro (centre), director of ECLOF International, and ECLOF Sri Lanka programme
Muhungi Kanyoro announced that ECLOF manager Gamini Samarasinghe, her ruined sawing machine, the only thing left of her workshop and its contents after the
Sri Lanka would be expanding its opera-
tions in order to help those in need. “We added, “We also plan to provide microcredit have lost their means of livelihood and need
will be targeting people and activities relat- to enable people to get back to work. Many, new working capital to replace destroyed
ed to reconstruction”, said Mr Kanyoro. He such as Shanthi Siriyalatha, whom I met, workshops and tools.” contd p. 4
Banks urged to invest in people
Prof. Stückelberger reminded the Swiss
commission that 2005 is the United
Nations International Year of Microcredit.
He said that the year reflected the increas-
ECLOF International chairman Rev. Prof. In a powerful presentation on microfi- ing importance and rapid development of
Christoph Stückelberger has called on nance to a Commission for International microfinance, which in turn called for a
financial institutions to integrate microcre- Development and Co-operation set up by thorough assessment of the tools and
dit into mainstream banking, and to devote the Swiss government, Prof. Stückelberger forms adopted by the institutions involved
a proportion of their profits to microcredit called on northern banks to invest up to in delivering microcredit. contd p. 3
schemes. 10% of their profits and 1% of their pen-
sion funds in microcredit funds. In this issue
Director’s Message 2
Turning to microcredit organizations them-
Tsunami hits ECLOF clients 2
selves, the ECLOF chairman said they
stood or fell by the confidence they Scaling Social Impact 4
showed in the poor, and in their credibility Food security and HIV/AIDS 6
and credit-worthiness. ECLOF holds talks with
ecumenical partners 8
In his submission to the Swiss commission, Much more than loans:
Prof. Stückelberger drew upon the experi- people sharing bread 10
Rev. Prof. Christoph Stückelberger (left), chairman of ECLOF
ence of ECLOF and its ecumenical partner, God’s strategy for life 11
International, and Tor Gull, director of Oikocredit, at the Oikocredit, to illustrate some of the chal-
opening of the International Year of Microcredit in the New News from NECs 13
lenges and opportunities in today’s micro-
York headquarters of the United Nations. ECLOF and Meet ECLOF clients 17
Oikocredit are working closely together in this special year. finance world.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Director’s that poverty is more than a lack of materi-
al resources. She said it is also a lack of
ticular case and others have pushed us to
share the CGAP’s (Consultative Group to
message power and ability to influence decisions,
vulnerability to shocks, be they conflicts
Assist the Poor) Guidelines on how
microfinance organisations should
or natural disasters, and lack of education respond to disasters. We are reminded
This being the UN International Year of and training among others. Therefore, for that a credit organisation must distinguish
Microcredit, several events have taken microcredit to be effective all these fac- between credit activities, which is its
place and others are planned to focus on tors need to be addressed. realm, from relief activities.
the potential and challenges of microcre-
dit as a tool for development and the In this issue of New Horizons, we share In a thought provoking reflection on
eradication of poverty. It is also a time to experiences of how ECLOF has worked MDGs, God’s strategy for life, Rev. Prof.
assess to what extent microcredit is con- with different communities and families Christoph Stückelberger reminds us that
tributing to the achievement of the in realising their entrepreneurial spirit, God’s `basic needs strategy` is more radi-
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). not only in business activities but also in cal than that of the MDGs. God’s basic
ECLOF International and its national meeting their educational needs. We also needs include community, liberation and
ECLOF committees are participating in share challenges faced by communities. spiritual goods. Prof. Stückelberger chal-
these events, as well as taking stock, all We include the story of Shanthi lenges ECLOF to perform actions found-
the more so given that 2005 also marks Siriyalatha, a client of ECLOF Sri Lanka, ed on God’s basic needs strategy. As we
the beginning of ECLOF’s new five-year who saw her hopes and those of her fam- continue focusing on growth and per-
strategic plan. ily dashed by the destruction brought by formance, we are reminded to keep in
the recent tsunami. Mrs Siriyalatha’s deter- focus our roots and founding principles
While reflecting on the role of microcred- mination and that of the members of the which are inspired by the message of the
it in attaining the MDGs during a recent Molpe Society, to which she belongs, is a Gospel and motivated by the experiences
meeting that reunited ECLOF and its ecu- testimony to their will to stand on their of the poor and excluded.
menical partners, Carin Gardbring of the own again, with a little outside help, and
Church of Sweden reminded participants to avoid becoming dependants. This par- Muhungi Kanyoro
Tsunami hits ECLOF clients
This was all successfully done and produc-
tion increased but Siriyalatha and Premasiri
still faced a shortage of raw timber.
Last December in Sri Lanka, Shanthi Siriyalatha proudly paid off the first instal- Moving on
ment of an ECLOF loan that she was using to help her family earn their living. She At this point, Siriyalatha approached the
obtained a second loan and bought further supplies for her timber business. Then Molpe Society of Moratuwa for help. She
the Indian Ocean tsunami hit and the woman’s hopes and materials were all swept joined the group, which then applied to
away in a tidal wave of destruction. ECLOF for a loan on behalf of Siriyalatha
In Sri Lanka, the tsunami directly affected ing small quantities of timber that they cut and about 75 other members. Siriyalatha
at least eight ECLOF clients and ECLOF Sri up into various sizes suitable for house received a loan of LKR5,000 (US$50) in
Lanka has had to make special arrange- construction. October 2003 and repaid it on time. In fact,
ments to help the people cope with their she was one of the first to arrive with her
situation by giving them more time to Finance repayment each time it was due.
repay old loans, and new loans to restart There was a high demand from house
their businesses. builders for prepared timber but Siriyalatha Siriyalatha used her first ECLOF loan to buy
and Premasiri had no spare cash to buy a chainsaw that her husband used to cut up
Shanthi Siriyalatha lives in Moratuwa, a more raw materials so they were forced to logs in readiness for machine sawing. The
town on the west coast of Sri Lanka, and is borrow from moneylenders at a rate of 6% chainsaw helped improve the business’s
a member of a women’s group called the per month. As Siriyalatha and Premasiri’s turnover. While Premasiri attended to the
Molpe Society of Moratuwa. business grew, they decided they needed day-to-day operation of sawing timber,
an electric sawing machine to increase Siriyalatha handled the buying of raw
Siriyalatha is in her early thirties and married production. However, an electric sawing materials, measuring the timber, payments
to Premasiri. They have two sons; one is 13- machine is no good without electricity so and all other cash dealings.
years-old and the other is seven. Both chil- the enterprising couple had to contact
dren attend school. Siriyalatha and Premasiri local government officials, who agreed to After paying off their first ECLOF loan, the
have lived all their lives in Moratuwa; it is a provide a suitable electricity supply for a couple still faced the problem of not hav-
town famous for its timber-related products. payment of LKR25,000 (US$251). ing enough timber. Therefore, last
In almost every household someone is November Siriyalatha applied for a second
involved in manufacturing furniture. The Set back ECLOF loan of LKR25,000 (US$253). The
items are sold on to merchants who put a Siriyalatha and Premasiri did not have the loan was granted and Siriyalatha bought
few final touches and then sell the products money to pay either for the machine or the more wood.
at high prices. Premasiri’s parents and other electricity supply so Premasiri went abroad
family members were all in the timber trade to work. However, his wages were not Disaster
and Premasiri learnt his skills from them as paid and after three months he returned It was just after making her first repayment
he grew up. home with nothing. The couple decided to on the second loan that the tsunami struck.
pawn all their jewellery and borrow Siriyalatha and Premasiri’s small home and
After Premasiri and Siriyalatha married, LKR200,000 (US$2008) in order to buy the workshop were right in the path of the
they began their own business by purchas- machine and get the electricity supply. waves, which destroyed everything. The
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Shanthi Siriyalatha (left), accompanied by her son, gives ECLOF loan officer Kinkini
The wreckage of one family’s home and business premises after the tsunami had done its Manjula details of the destruction caused to her home and livelihood by last December’s
sea swept away the logs that Siriyalatha cuss her future plans, the young mother moment. However, she was firm in saying
had recently bought for LKR40,000, and gazed at her for a while. Then, with tears that she would never let down either
the sawing machine and other equipment rolling down her cheek but with a deter- ECLOF or the women’s society through
were damaged beyond repair as they were mined voice, Siriyalatha told Kinkini that whom the loan was obtained and whose
dashed against rocks and water got in and she and her husband were going to work president, Ms Violet de Mel, had always
ruined everything. hard to get their business back on its feet, encouraged her and introduced ECLOF to
and to settle down to a normal life. They her in the first place.
Escape were, she said, tired of living in a camp for
When the first tsunami wave hit, displaced people. However, Siriyalatha The eight members of the Molpe Society
Siriyalatha, Premasiri and their two boys and Premasiri may not be able to rebuild of Moratuwa who now cannot repay their
ran inland and escaped but they were also their home and workshop in their original loans because of the tsunami have asked
left without anything. Since then, the fami- place as this is within 100 metres of the sea the society for extra time; the society in
ly has been living in a camp and the chil- and the local government has suggested turn has appealed to ECLOF to give them
dren attend school from this camp. that it may ban people from living so close the time necessary to deal with this diffi-
Premasiri is now doing labouring work to to the ocean in case another tsunami cult situation. The clients’ faith in ECLOF
supplement the small amount of money occurs. remains: “We are sure ECLOF will under-
the family receives from the government. stand our fate and bear with us and give
As she spoke to Kinkini Manjula from us some sort of relief in our repayment
When Kinkini Manjula, the ECLOF Sri ECLOF, Siriyalatha was very apologetic schedule until things are sorted out and
Lanka loans officer, met Siriyalatha to dis- about her inability to repay her loan at the we are able to earn a livelihood.”
ECLOF Brazil visitor of being ecumenical and serving the
poorest in society, CEADe had to
become a sustainable institution.
Bishop Adriel de Souza Maia, the Reflecting on the next assembly of the
President of ECLOF Brazil (CEADe) and World Council of Churches, which will
Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church take place in Porto Alegre early next
in Brazil, held talks with ECLOF year, the bishop said he hoped that
International director Muhungi Kanyoro CEADe and other regional national
and his executive colleague, George ECLOF committees would play a
Petty, during an April visit to Geneva. prominent role in the life of the assembly.
Bishop Souza mentioned his interest in Muhungi Kanyoro asked the bishop
issues regarding access to clean water to pass on greetings from ECLOF
and explained that he is part of a group International to the forthcoming CEADe
that has written a policy paper on the general assembly. Muhungi and the
right to unprivatised water. bishop agreed that among its other aims (l to r): George Petty, Bishop Souza, Muhungi Kanyoro
Banks urged to invest in people contd from p. 1
He acknowledged that commercial micro- The challenge for microfinance institutions lenges. They needed to create appropriate
credit institutions could achieve higher (MFIs), the ECLOF chairman explained, was regulatory and operational environments
profits if they concentrated on clients who to increase volumes, lower costs, and within which MFIs could work.
posed little risk. However, such an increase the clear separation between credit Governments also had to promote proper-
approach would not achieve the goal of for the poorest of the poor, who needed a ty titles and other ownership rights for the
poverty eradication. Those in the commer- donor-based approach, and credit for those poor so that they had acceptable credit
cial sphere, argued Prof. Stückelberger, on lower middle incomes for whom a busi- collateral. In addition, governments should
must be prepared to take risks and make ness-oriented approach was appropriate. grant fiscal privileges or exemptions to
loans in rural areas and in risky countries. MFIs. He also believed that southern banks
That would mean accepting a decrease in Prof. Stückelberger said that governments should be obliged to invest more in micro-
profits. in the South also faced a number of chal- credit funds.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Scaling Social Impact
Adopting practices from the corporate business world is not the achieve scale in more ways than just through organizational
simple path to growth and success that many not-for-profit growth.”
organizations assume it to be, according to a specialist in
helping foundations and corporations create greater value for Kramer cites the world of microfinance as an example of this
society. latter point. He explains that originally two agencies introduced
this radically different way of lending to the poor, and achieved
Writing in the 3 February 2005 issue of the Washington-based great success. However, Kramer continues, “The scale of their
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Mark Kramer claims that, “The idea has far eclipsed both of its originators, with several
business metaphor has imprisoned much new thinking in the thousand microfinance lending institutions around the world
social sector.” serving 41.6 million households and supporting over 200
million individual family members. Nearly all of these lending
In his article, “Scaling Social Impact”, Mr Kramer, who is the institutions are unrelated to the originators, but all employ the
founder and managing director of the Foundation Strategy approach that they invented.”
Group, says, “Over the past decade, many principles borrowed
from corporate management, venture capital, entrepreneurship, He continues, “Achieving social impact by spreading an idea
and investment portfolios have been grafted on to the work of hardly seems like an original concept. Replication has been the
foundations and non-profits. These new ideas have stimulated a Holy Grail of philanthropy for decades. Foundations often fund
considerable amount of innovation, bringing to the field venture a small pilot project in the hopes of demonstrating its efficacy so
philanthropy funds, social entrepreneurs, capacity building that others will replicate it around the world, infinitely leveraging
grants and the increasingly common goal of taking small non- the impact of the initial grant. Of course this almost never
profit organizations to scale.” happens. Ideas don’t spread themselves and people often resist
change even when it would be beneficial. Most foundations
Mark Kramer continues, “It is true that certain basic principles of tend to move on to the next new project after funding the pilot
strategy, expertise and efficiency apply to the non-profit sector, and its evaluation, leaving the idea to wither. Those few
just as they do to every other kind of enterprise. But these broad foundations that have successfully replicated a programme have
principles need to be thought through carefully in the specialised often had to launch a major campaign, dedicating large
context of the non-profit sector if they are to be usefully amounts of money, personal leadership and years of effort to
applied… the limitations are most apparent in this widespread spreading its adoption.”
ambition, shared by many funders and non-profit leaders alike,
of ‘going to scale’ through rapid organizational growth.” Although it is not easy for non-profits to increase the social
impact of their work, Kramer argues that it is possible but needs
The FSG founder is clear that good business practice and long term work: “Given persistent and substantial funding, well
proper long-term funding are necessary if non-profits are to researched strategies, and bold leadership toward clearly-
produce good results. However, Kramer believes that it is defined goals, there are many paths to broad impact. Targeted
important to realise that the goal within the for-profit world is to communications campaigns, educational programmes,
make money, and businesses do this by retaining ownership and conferences, advocacy, publications, websites, even advertising
legal rights over any use of their concepts or brands by others. can scale social impact without scaling non-profit organizations
Elsewhere, according to Kramer, it is a different story: “In the themselves.”
non-profit sector… the goal is social impact – not profit – and no
one owns social impact. If others use the social entrepreneur’s Kramer concludes, “Perhaps the real lesson is not that the non-
idea, then they are scaling the social impact, even if the profit sector should imitate business, but that a certain set of
entrepreneur has no control or legal relationship to them. That practices will yield social change – and those practices have yet
means non-profits have an advantage over businesses: they can to be adequately understood and adopted.”
ECLOF tsunami each case and, where appropriate, agree During his visit to the island, Muhungi
response contd from p. 1 to a delay in repayments as well as the Kanyoro, accompanied by the chairperson
granting of a new loan. “People must have of ECLOF Sri Lanka, Ms Shanika de Mel,
For other people, their traditional way of the means to start again”, said Mr Kanyoro. also held talks with Rev. Dr Jayasiri.T.
earning a living has disappeared. Some, Peiris, who is the general secretary of the
for example, have had to move away from The ECLOF International director also National Christian Council of Sri Lanka. Dr
the coast and have lost their land. ECLOF explained that with the psychological Peiris explained the council’s co-ordina-
plans to introduce to this group of people damage that people had suffered, it might tion role among the churches. He added
new employment opportunities, such as take them a little time to settle down and that he felt ECLOF had an important role
brick making for the new homes that are be emotionally able to return to work. “It to play in post-tsunami reconstruction
now required after the tsunami. is important to realise this”, the director efforts, and also offered to link ECLOF
explained, “because ECLOF will remain a clients to the trauma counselling work of
“Some of the people involved will be exist- lending organization and not one that the churches in order to aid people’s
ing ECLOF clients; others will be new con- gives grants. Therefore, ECLOF Sri Lanka return to normal life. He said it was impor-
tacts”, Muhungi Kanyoro explained. He will have to evaluate a person’s capacity to tant to avoid creating dependence among
added that for clients like Shanthi begin work again before making a new those affected by the tsunami.
Siriyalatha, ECLOF Sri Lanka would review loan.”
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
receiving any resettlement payments from
All in a day’s work the government is delaying things.
Our clients are confident that if ECLOF were
Many frontline ECLOF staff are relatively young but take on huge responsibilities able to consider granting loans for a longer
and not insignificant risks as they deliver loans to those with no other access to than normal period they would be able to
credit. Kinkini Manjula, a loan officer with ECLOF Sri Lanka, has also had to deal repay not only these loans but also the out-
with the added consequences of the tsunami that hit her country last December. standing ones they had before the tsunami.
New Horizons invited Kinkini to introduce herself to readers.
The Molpe Society of Moratuwa has a mix
of members at various economic levels,
including people who can only live from
day to day. These people borrow small
amounts of money through a special Day-
to-Day Loan Scheme, and buy other mem-
bers’ produce: fruit, vegetables, fish, etc., to
sell. The Day-to-Day Loan Scheme began as
a way of enabling the very poor to escape
the clutches of exploitative moneylenders.
As I set off early each day to travel to my
clients, many challenges lie ahead. Often I
have to go to very lonely areas, where I
must trek through villages and fields to
reach my destination. Some of the men I
meet on the way can be drunk, even
Kinkini Manjula receives the keys to her new motorcycle from ECLOF Sri Lanka board member, Mr V Vijayakulasingham.
though it is early in the day, but I have
confidence and I am not afraid; I have
I am 24-years-old and I live with my moth- Molpe Society taken a course in karate. One morning, as
er and 14-year-old brother, who is in grade After my training, I was put in charge of I stood and waited for a bus, two men
nine at school. I come from the Western the Western Region. The Molpe Society of came along and grabbed my necklace. I
Region of Sri Lanka and completed my Moratuwa, is within my region. Shanthi put the two men down on the ground,
school education in 2000. Siriyalatha (see p.2) is one of my clients in recovered my necklace, and then went
the society, which has 100 members. and reported the incident to the police.
I then went to the School of Agriculture in When I came on the scene, the society had
Kuliyapitiya and obtained a National already repaid its first ECLOF loan and was I enjoy my work, particularly evaluating
Diploma in Agriculture. I was on a resi- seeking a second one. projects and giving advice on agriculture
dential course that lasted for two and a and animal husbandry to my clients. It is
half years. I took a range of subjects The society has a strong leadership and is satisfying to know that the knowledge I
including animal husbandry, horticulture, very strict and disciplined on financial mat- learnt at college is now helping others to
agriculture and computer literacy. ters and repayments. The membership is improve their standard of living.
very much satisfied with the way their group
In 2002, having finished my course, I is run. I visit the society twice a year and it is New transport
joined the Food Crop Research Centre as a doing well. This is mainly due to the dedica- Until now, I have had to travel to clients
research assistant. From there, I moved to tion of the president and the other leaders. by bus and train, and on foot. I have often
an export company dealing in fruits, veg- had to walk for long distances. This is time
etables and fish. Tsunami consuming, especially as some of my
The tsunami badly affected some of the clients live far away from each other.
I started work with ECLOF as a loan officer members of the Molpe Society; these peo-
last September. I had seen an advertise- ple lost their means of making a living and ECLOF Sri Lanka recently provided me with
ment for the job in our national newspaper. cannot repay existing loans. It is unfortu- a motorcycle and this is now helping me to
One of my relations knew about ECLOF nate that it is taking the authorities some cover more ground, visit clients more often
because he works for another microcredit time to make settlements to those adverse- and increase the size of the overall loan
organization that provides loans to women. ly affected and unable to restart their portfolio. There are many in my country
micro-enterprises. Other Molpe Society who need access to microfinance so it is
I was appointed to the ECLOF Sri Lanka members rallied round and met their col- important that ECLOF maximizes its impact.
staff after an interview and an introduction leagues’ immediate needs by providing
to the organization. This was followed by clothes, food and other household items. The work that I do makes me proud that
field visits during which I observed how ECLOF is able to help people make ends
the programme manager introduced This situation was a difficult one for the meet and see some improvement in the
ECLOF products to new clients, and evalu- programme manager and me but we have quality of their lives. When my clients
ated projects. Then the manager accompa- been able to assure our borrowers that proudly show me what they have gained
nied me as I did the same thing and ECLOF will continue to support them. The through an ECLOF loan and say, “Thank
watched to make sure I was doing the job people are extremely keen to begin you”, it gives me the courage to reach out
properly. rebuilding their lives but the delay in to the many other people who need us.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Food security and HIV/AIDS
HIV/AIDS has led to many deaths. A lack of food for those who are left is one of the other
serious consequences of the pandemic. However, as Jacinta Maingi, Eastern Region coor-
dinator of the Ecumenical HIV/AIDS Initiative in Africa (EHAIA) explains, there is much
that can be done to increase food security, and ECLOF must be right in the thick of the
Today, HIV/AIDS constitutes a global emer- bilises communities, and puts into reverse illness of productive members of the
gency and one of the most formidable chal- the evolution of farming systems, rural household, especially women;
lenges to human life and dignity. It is not livelihoods and economies.
only a health issue but also a serious set death of an adult that leads to a sharp
back for the development hopes of millions. It is estimated that in the 25 hardest-hit decline in production and income;
countries in Africa, AIDS has killed around diversion of labour from production to
Because of HIV/AIDS, the average life seven million agricultural workers since funerals;
expectancy in many countries in sub- 1985 and could kill 16 million more before
Saharan Africa is less than 40 years. This 2020. The most-affected African countries protracted nature of AIDS and the high
has enormous implications for the future could lose up to 26 percent of their agri- costs of care and treatment;
sustainability of the nations involved. As a cultural labour force within two decades. psychological impact of the illness and
result of HIV/AIDS, one of the most seri- death of an individual that commonly
ous problems today is an increase in what Population change leads to depression and a lack of
is termed food insecurity. This is a situa- Perhaps even more important than the total motivation to work hard among other
tion that must be addressed. numbers of people sick or dying from family members;
HIV/AIDS is the emerging population struc-
Food crisis ture in terms of age, gender and economic declining health of other family
Food insecurity in Africa in recent years activity. An AIDS-impacted society contains members; children and adults in AIDS-
resulted from the complex interplay of proportionally fewer mature adults (espe- affected homes are less well nourished,
structural neglect, economic isolation, cially women) and more teenagers and more likely to be sick, and more likely
environmental issues, bad governance and other young adults. The latter groups are to die from a range of illnesses;
social breakdown. Most policy documents likely to be less socially engaged and to severe impact upon household viability
directing Africa’s agriculture today are contribute less to the overall workforce. because of the loss of skills and
pressing for the opening-up of the markets experience from a deceased adult;
and lifting of subsidies. At the farm level, HIV/AIDS increases present and future HIV/AIDS breaks the chain of
this translates into an inability to access food insecurity through its impact on the: knowledge transfer and labour sharing
information, seeds, tools, pesticides and between generations; survivors,
ability of households to produce food
fertilisers. When a meagre harvest is finally including children and the elderly, often
because of labour shortages and the
obtained, African farmers have to compete cannot manage the family farm due to
loss of knowledge about farming
in their local markets with cheaper, import- lack of knowledge and experience.
ed foreign goods. Farmers also find it very
difficult to get their goods on to the world ability of communities to produce and Gender issues
market because too few farmers have the buy food because the epidemic Women from 15 to 29 years old are at least
technical knowledge, or due to the exis- reaches every home, and neighbours six times more likely to be infected by
tence of protective tariffs and regulations. become too over-burdened to help HIV/AIDS than are men. The main reason
each other with food, loans or by for this vulnerability is rooted in women’s
It must be repeated and stressed that well lending a hand in the fields; limited sexual power or autonomy. A host
before the serious effects of the AIDS pan- of economic, social and political disadvan-
ability of countries to import food
demic are taken into account, Africa is tages further limit women’s economic
because HIV/AIDS reduces growth by
already vulnerable to food insecurity. Sub- independence and other opportunities.
an estimated one percent annually in
Saharan Africa, in particular, experiences
chronic food shortages as production fails Yet, it is women who are crucial in the
to meet the consumption needs of its production sector and transfer of knowl-
In addition, rural communities also bear a
growing population. edge chain for nearly all smallholder farm
higher burden of the cost of HIV/AIDS as
many urban dwellers and migrant labour- families across the African continent.
Given the low levels of earnings and the Moreover, most of the additional burdens
ers return to their villages when they
rural nature of most of the population, food of responding to the impact of HIV/AIDS
become sick. At the same time, household
production in Africa is mainly based on fall upon women. They are the main pro-
expenditures rise to meet medical bills and
rain-fed agriculture. Unfortunately, this is ducers of food, and the main caregivers for
funeral expenses, and while the number of
usually adversely affected by natural the sick and children. It is also clear that
productive family members declines, the
calamities and human-made disasters, espe- the adjustments made by women to “cope”
number of dependants grows.
cially armed conflicts and deforestation. with the impact of HIV/AIDS in the short
The negative impact of AIDS on labour are term have major implications in the longer
Consequences term, such as the withdrawing of girls from
many and include the:
The numbers of people infected and dying school to help with domestic duties.
as a result of HIV/AIDS only reveal part of inability of households to buy food
story. HIV/AIDS not only infects and kills due to the loss of productive family Many widows lose access to land, labour,
people; it also tears families apart, desta- members and of assets; supplies, credit and support services.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
HIV/AIDS stigmatisation compounds the Questionable coping increased food utilisation, such as
situation because assistance from the Less effective ways of dealing with the ensuring that vegetable production
extended family and the community is cut impact of HIV/AIDS have been tried and serves not only marketplace trading
off. As a result, elderly women become the they include: but also household nutritional needs,
economic and emotional safety net for and increased food equity to ensure
grandchildren orphaned by HIV/AIDS. piecework strategies where some
equal access to adequate nutrition for
household members (adults and
all family members, particularly
The extended family structure where children) sell their labour for short-
children, women and the sick.
women are at the centre has been the most term access to food or cash;
households can become perpetual
effective community response to the AIDS Alternative medicines
crisis. Measures directed towards the alle- labour providers and may experience
Many people infected by HIV/AIDS will be
viation of poverty, food insecurity and food shortages even amidst bumper
cared for at home where access to health
HIV/AIDS management are less likely to harvests in their communities;
institutions and the availability of modern
take into consideration the special needs out-of-season farming activities, such scientific treatment may not be guaranteed
and capacities of women who now carry as late planting and late weeding, or affordable. Hence, there may be the
added and heavy responsibilities. though this leads to a reduction in need to influence and encourage farmers
production and increases a crop’s and people in the rural areas to consider
AIDS worsens existing gender-based vulnerability to pests and disease; growing plants and herbal remedies.
differences in the access to land and other
compromising critical land conservation
resources. Today, many widows are home- ECLOF in the mainstream
less and outcasts because their deceased and soil protection activities, such as
ECLOF should ensure that there is an
husbands’ relatives claim the family homes mulching, terracing and leaving land
HIV/AIDS component in all its projects.
and lands, and sometimes even the fallow, and replacing them with bush
This “mainstreaming” of HIV/AIDS would
children. burning and the abandonment of weed
ensure that all ECLOF staff and clients are
and pest control;
aware of HIV/AIDS and its possible effects.
The appalling impact that HIV/AIDS is sale of household assets, including
having on Africa’s women is only now land; Making HIV/AIDS a “must have” compo-
becoming fully apparent. Today, women nent of all ECLOF products and training
constitute 58% of those infected in sub- withdrawal from marketing activities in
will contribute to the fight against stigma,
Saharan Africa. favour of subsistence farming; when
discrimination and denial, and thus enable
households reach this stage, mitigation
those infected and affected by the pan-
Coping with the situation measures, such as microcredit for off-
demic to benefit from local initiatives.
Households faced with HIV/AIDS-related farm income-generating activities,
labour shortages and loss of skills tend to become much more difficult or even
ECLOF beneficiaries could also be trained
adopt a variety of coping mechanisms. impossible.
as community animators and pillars of a
These include: community support system.
intra-household relocation of labour, Among the ways to help rural people cope
including the removal of children, ECLOF should make funds available to
with AIDS-related labour stress, and arrest
especially girls, from school and an those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS
increased food insecurity there is a need to
increased reliance on orphan labour; without discrimination, so long as they are
consider the following:
able to fulfil normal ECLOF lending
relying on the elderly, children and non-labour intensive crops without criteria. At times, giving a chance to some-
extended family networks to cover for compromising the need to address one who has lost hope due to infection
ill or deceased adult household overall nutritional needs; might give him or her the energy to live
agricultural diversification dependant
changing from labour intensive to less on expected rainfall and the natural
labour intensive farming methods, ECLOF must identify and design main-
from cash to subsistence crops, and streaming mechanisms, and ensure that
from growing vegetables to producing community water harvesting and accurate and up-to-date information and
survival foodstuffs; management systems to improve the knowledge on HIV/AIDS is available to all
production/labour ratio; ECLOF stakeholders.
reduction or complete loss of
livestock, or switching from cattle to community farming oriented to
Since the Ecumenical HIV/AIDS Initiative
pigs, goats and chickens because there support food security and nutrition
in Africa (EHAIA) operates in four regions
is no one with the skills required to among the most vulnerable
(Eastern, Western, Central and Southern)
care for larger animals; households and people, including
ECLOF can tap into EHAIA’s experience.
female-headed households and
relocation of household members, community-based school feeding
especially children and orphans, to Although AIDS kills, stigma and discrimi-
wider social networks in order to nation are more lethal because they
spread the burden, though the crops and farming systems that reduce destroy even those who are not infected.
capacity of the extended family to vulnerability to ecological and social In addition, even though AIDS destroys,
cope is becoming highly questionable; factors, such as drought-resistant bad governance at all levels is more dev-
crops, and agricultural diversification astating since its effects are felt for a long
for those who can afford it, replacing as a means to strengthen subsistence time. Finally, even if timely rainfalls are
lost family labour with hired labour components and reduce one’s scarce in most parts of Africa, hard work at
and increasing the use of fertilisers. vulnerability to erratic market community level continues to pour down
fluctuations; in spite of all the adversities that exist.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
ECLOF holds talks with ecumenical partners
ECLOF has held its first meeting in a num- ucts, microfinance has an essential role to developing on-the-farm research, training
ber of years with its ecumenical partner play in helping the poor to begin income- and technical education. This focuses
agencies (EPAs). The timing was chosen to making activities, build assets and improve more broadly on food security than just
fall within the United Nations International the sustainability of their lives. Setting the “passing the gift of a cow”, for which
Year of Microcredit. example for all, Carin told the gathering Heifer is popularly known. Enterprise
that the Church of Sweden has decided to development, said Dr Colley, ensures sus-
The gathering discussed the growth and dedicate 15% of its total income to credit tainability. He commented that the newly-
evolution of ECLOF in the recent past, as and credit-related activities. Using micro- signed partnership of Heifer and ECLOF is
well as its 2005/09 strategic plan. The credit as a development tool, the church’s recognition of the complementarity of the
meeting was also a forum for partners to strategy includes local resource mobilisa- two organisations.
share their activities, best practices and tion, “help to self-help”, empowering
policies related to the promotion of credit women and, in as far as possible, develop- Indeed, partnership, community organisa-
within the context of the Millennium ing new models for development and find- tion and food production have become
Development Goals (MDGs) and the UN ing key areas for change and renewal. important areas of action for ECLOF over
Year of Microcredit. the past three years. This was illustrated in
Carin challenged participants to share the work done by
ECLOF International had the pleasure to ideas, expertise, experiences and goodwill ECLOF Ghana
welcome 25 old and new friends, who to develop these new models together, (GECLOF).
came mainly from countries in Europe and and to promote microfinance as a devel- Magnus Amoa-
North America. They also had the pleasure opment tool worldwide. Bosompen gave a
to greet ECLOF colleagues from Sri Lanka very informative
and Ghana. Strategic plan presentation on the
Muhungi Kanyoro, ECLOF International development of
Poverty multidimensional director, introduced ECLOF’s strategic plan GECLOF, which
Introduced by the Rev. Prof. Christoph for 2005–2009. This gives a strong focus to now serves 5000 clients, 95% of whom are
Stückelberger, President of ECLOF, the rural credit and the promotion of women’s women. Activities are concentrated on agri-
opening session on Friday 13 May was micro-enterprise development. Muhungi culture and the marketing of farm products
dedicated to presenting the work of also outlined details about new financing such as yam and cassava. GECLOF has
ECLOF and microcredit against the back- instruments that ECLOF is developing to developed a new product specifically for
ground of the UN Millennium Goals. meet increasing lending capital require- fish processing by using improved tradi-
ments. He further spoke about lessons tional technology, and hopes to double the
Carin Gardbring, learned from recent evaluations of nation- number of its clients this year.
from the Church of al programmes. The director underlined
Sweden, under- the importance for EPAs and ECLOF con- Partners present
lined the fact that tinuously to find ways to sustain and After lunch, EPAs presented their individ-
poverty is more strengthen their partnership, given their ual organisations and spoke on topical
than the lack of mutually supportive and enhancing mis- issues. Joy Cadangen Lumbag, newly
material resources: sions and programmes. appointed finance manager for ECLOF
it is multidimen- International, considered the role that
sional. She detailed poverty’s four major ECLOF evaluation plays as
aspects: restricted human development partnerships an instrument for
(including education and training); depri- Commenting on improvement and
vation of material goods; lack of empower- the role of enter- innovation. Sonja
ment and ability to influence decisions and prise development Van der Eijk from
vulnerability to shocks (conflicts, natural within rural devel- ICCO believed in
disasters, etc.). opment, Dr Barry using grants, loans
Colley of Heifer and investing in
Swedish pledge International pointed out that as part of shares to promote
With its diverse range of financial prod- their agricultural programmes, Heifer is microfinance, and Ms Tamara Appel-Cless
from Bread for the World, in Germany,
talked about EPA experiences at global
and regional level.
On the second day, discussions considered
how best to support churches and the mis-
sion of the church to the poor, as well as
improving networking, engaging partners
more deeply in the work of ECLOF and
facing up to the unexpected.
Shanika de Mel presented the work of
When ECLOF and its ecumenical partner agencies met, they discussed a whole host of microcredit issues. ECLOF Sri Lanka and how they faced the
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
impact of the recent tsunami. The work of President, that showed the impact that
ECLOF is even more important now than results from being known nationally and Geneva groups mark
before, as the sooner people get a new also having the support of people at the
income-generating activity going, the better. local level. Alison Kelly from Christian Aid
UN year of microcredit
in the U.K. stressed the importance of unit-
On 12 May, ECLOF, the International
Tamara Appel-Cless stressed the impor- ing to promote microcredit as a develop-
Labour Organization (ILO) and the
tance of the sharing of experience ment tool because “funders generally
University of Geneva held a meeting for
between partners, NECs and the ECLOF prefer larger coalitions and larger net-
those in and around Geneva who are
family at large. It was proposed that EPA works, which also
involved in microfinance. Over 40
representatives should be invited to have the advantage
people attended from UN
regional workshops as one way to pro- of having more vis-
mote the work and understanding of ibility”. Omega
organizations, banks, academia, local
ECLOF, and generally involve EPAs more Bula of the United
microfinance efforts and independent
in its activities. The aim would be for EPAs Church of Canada
consultants. The meeting was an
to see that ECLOF and microcredit is an added that this
opportunity for people to meet each
integral part of their work agenda, and that would help to
other and discuss the possibility of
their individual contribution is important make organizations
establishing a Geneva microfinance
to the development of the organization, as located in both hemispheres feel united in
forum where practitioners and interested
well as to that of the partnership at large. their work and efforts and that the coordi-
people can meet to share ideas.
nation of microcredit work would increase
The importance of developing advocacy, efficiency and impact.
Opening the meeting, Bernd Balkenhol of
communication and fundraising was also
the ILO in whose offices the meeting was
discussed. Matthias Elsermann from the Future
held, referred to the Protestant Reformer,
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Westfalia, The response to the meeting was extreme-
John Calvin, and his writings on lending
gave examples of ly positive. All participants asked for such
and his call for “equitable” interest rates.
public relations a gathering to be held on a more regular
Mr. Balkenhol commented, “Genève, le
work done in basis. Work will continue on finding ways
Calvinisme et la micro-finance: ce n’est
Germany. He cited to develop the network and the sharing of
pas une association quelconque; il y a une
the example of an information, and to promote microcredit as
certaine logique; c’est presque… un
OikoCredit Support a development tool within a common,
mandat.” (Geneva, Calvinism and
Association, of mutually supportive and enhancing frame-
microfinance: this is not just another
which he is the work.
association, there is a certain logic here.
It’s almost… a mandate.”).
Ecumenical expectations The Mayor of Geneva, Pierre Muller,
who participants at ECLOF’s 50th
George Petty, executive staff member of ECLOF International, reports on a seminar anniversary in 1996 will remember for
designed to give people a better understanding of the ecumenical movement and what is welcoming them to Geneva, told the
expected of those within it. meeting what the Canton of Geneva
was doing in the field of microfinance.
We gathered first at the Ecumenical itself, we were all asked, “What do we He noted that recently a local
Institute in Bossey, about half an hour from each expect of our partner newspaper had published a full-page
Geneva, Switzerland under the aegis of organizations?” The answers given are article on microfinance activities and
the World Council of Churches (WCC). instructive for the entire ECLOF family, actors in his canton that included a
There were 27 of us from specialised and we should keep them in the front of quotation from ECLOF.
ministries and agencies that have a close our minds as we work. They are:
relationship with the WCC in the area of The meeting generated a lot of interest
emergency relief and development work. from participants, particularly from the
dedication and commitment to the banking sector, and lively discussions
During the ecumenical formation cause; were held. One of the topics of interest
seminar, as it was called, we heard mutual understanding and respect; related to what investment returns should
presentations on ecumenism and the be expected. On the one hand, it was
ecumenical movement, as well as the transparency; noted that the financial investments in
role of religion in development. The competence; developing markets have higher returns
organisers’ aim was to enable us to than in mature markets. On the other
reflect together on matters of reliability; hand, some investors (in organizations
professional concern and build good timely reports; such as resonsAbility and Oikocredit)
working relationships with one another. accept having lower than market rate
timely applications; returns. There was also recognition that
I found the seminar very helpful in that it accountability; all the commercial sources of lending
provided a history of the ecumenical capital (Citibank, Oikocredit, Blue
movement and an overview of the reflection; Orchard) to microfinance organizations
WCC’s current work. support; go to only a handful of such groups.
Discussions about developing a local
innovative ideas; Geneva and national Swiss platform for
As those taking part came from WCC
partner agencies, as well as the WCC networking and coordination. microfinance are under discussion.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Much more than loans: people sharing bread
In the last issue of New Horizons (p. 21), we reported on how Armenian ECLOF welcomed visitors from the Church of
Sweden. Roger Marklund, from the church’s international department, tells the story from his point of view.
We had not heard much about Echmiadzin were still very small. One of these children how to complete a project proposal to see
before our trip. Now, the former capital of is Arshak Srapyan. Today, he is a member if their ideas were realistic and sustainable.
Armenia is a familiar place to us as a result of the Luys Solidarity Group, which is a
of our visit to Armenian ECLOF and the client of Armenian ECLOF in Ardjut. The The Arghasar-1 group has now been grant-
work they are doing from their base in the group consists of 13 members, who, all ed a second ECLOF loan. When we met
city. together, received a loan for the equivalent the men on the outskirts of Stepanavan, it
of US$3,400. With this sum, they were able was a sunny afternoon and they had just
Most members of our five-person delega- to develop cattle-breeding activities and filled their barn with fodder for the winter
tion came from local parishes in Sweden, see their farms grow. The Luys Solidarity season. The group owns five cows, 14
where they play a crucial role in promot- Group says that ECLOF was the first organ- calves and four pigs. The group’s main
ing development education and raising ization to help them to improve their liv- activity is meat production but they have
money for development projects. The idea ing conditions by giving them the loans recently begun bee keeping and now have
to make this visit came out of a Church of necessary to keep and develop their farms. around 20 hives. The sale of honey will
Sweden national training course on the They have now regained hope for a much add substantially to their overall income.
theme of “Everyone’s right to good food”, brighter future.
during which special attention was given In the same area, we met the Katnarat-1
to microfinance as a means by which peo- The Arghasar-1 solidarity group in the solidarity group. Thirteen young men, two
ple can make this right become a reality. town of Stepanavan told us that its mem- of them Russians, belong to Katnarat-1.
We wanted to see what effect microcredit bers are collectively responsible for their Their re-built farmhouse is in an area that
schemes were having in various countries, loans and repayment. They explained that was seriously damaged by the 1988 earth-
and so we arranged study visits to this is a good system because it is almost quake. There is still a lot of rubble around
Cambodia, Peru and Armenia. impossible for individuals who are poor to from the remains of destroyed houses.
manage these things on their own.
Solidarity groups As with Arghasar-1, this group is also into a
Armenian ECLOF’s director, Tigran Eight young men make up the Arghasar-1 second ECLOF loan, which it is using to
Hovhannisyan, and his staff took us to group. Previously, they were all unem- expand its meat and milk production busi-
some very poor areas of Armenia in the ployed, could not see any future in ness. The group has 25 cows and 40 calves,
Lory Region. There, we met “solidarity Armenia, and were considering emigrating. and its members also plan to expand into
groups” that had received ECLOF loans. They approached several Armenian micro- cheese making. The area used to be famous
finance institutes but their interest rates for its cheese, and exported much of it.
When Aida Movsisyan and her family were too high. In any case, the men were
came to live in the village of Ardjut in told that they were not eligible for loans. In Armenia, unemployment is high and
1992, the village helped her family to build This is when they turned to ECLOF. With many young men remain idle after their
a house, acquire land and begin agricultur- ECLOF, they found a different approach military service. However, the members of
al activities. Many years ago, Mrs and felt treated with respect and dignity. both the solidarity groups that we met
Movsisyan adopted and raised two chil- ECLOF showed the men how to form a sol- have found that with hard work, and
dren whose mother had died when they idarity group, what to use as collateral, and backed up by an ECLOF loan, it is possi-
ble to make a decent living.
We also visited some remote villages in the
area around the town of Tashir. Many of
the villagers are refugees, who fled from
Azerbaijan to Armenia in 1988 and 1989 as
a result of the war between the two coun-
tries. Times are tough for everyone in
Armenia as a result of the war, the earth-
quake, the collapse of the Soviet Union
and the subsequent collapse of the coun-
try’s industries and infrastructure.
However, the situation is even worse for
refugees. Therefore, ECLOF has focused
on some of the areas where many of the
We met several refugees who are now
ECLOF clients. Many had recently begun
Mrs Aida Movsisyan (centre) is the adoptive mother of Arshak Srapyan, a member of the Luys Solidarity Group located in
small-scale farming and cattle breeding
Ardjut, a village in the Lory Region of Armenia. She welcomes Andrea Scleeh (left), a Church of Sweden pastor, and enterprises. They told us that one of their
Armine Baghramyan, an Armenian ECLOF administrative assistant (right), with some home-made, mouth-watering bread problems had been the high cost of trans-
and cheese. When Christians say the Lord’s Prayer, they ask, “Give us today our daily bread”. Much of the work of ECLOF
is centred on helping that prayer become a reality for those who have too little to eat. porting the milk produced by individual
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
farms. The farmers began discussions with Lives enriched small loan portfolio. However, Armenian
ECLOF to see what could be done. They The ECLOF clients we met told us how ECLOF is a learning organization, and it is
found that the cost of fuel for the truck microcredit had changed their lives. By co- continually strengthening its ability to
used to transport the milk could be drasti- operating with their neighbours and work- serve the Armenian people. ECLOF defi-
cally lowered if the truck were to use gas ing together, people can now pay for their nitely has a role to play in shaping the
instead of diesel. The technology is well children’s education, enjoy a better standard country’s future at national, regional and
known and commonly used in Armenia. of living and contribute to the development local levels.
Filling stations for gas are as common as of their communities. They have also learnt
those that sell other fuels. ECLOF provided project management and economic plan- Those of us from the Church of Sweden
a loan to pay for the conversion of the ning skills, and now that they are taxpayers who visited Armenia are proud to be part
truck’s engine, and, today, farmers are feel much more part of their society and of the ECLOF family. We are now spread-
making a profit from their milk production able to contribute to its development. ing news of ECLOF and its activities in
businesses. We felt that ECLOF’s openness Armenia throughout our parishes in order
to all aspects of production and consumer Armenian ECLOF is still a small agency that more people will support this vital
chains is benefiting all its partners. with less than 3,000 clients and a relatively work.
security and community. God wants us to care first of all for the
God’s strategy for life basics!
In 2000, the United Nations declared eight Millennium UN basic needs strategy
Development Goals (MDGs) to guarantee basic needs for The UN General Assembly will evaluate the progress being
everybody. These secular goals reflect biblical ones, though God’s made to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in
‘basic needs strategy’ is more radical, as Rev. Prof. Christoph September 2005, five years after their introduction. The MDGs
Stückelberger, Director of the Institute for Theology and Ethics of include eight fundamental goals:
the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches and Chairperson of
1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
ECLOF International, explains.
2 Achieve universal primary education
The story that Jesus told of the Last Judgement is a tough one. It
3 Promote gender equality
is about a vision of how things will be at the end of time when
good and evil people will be separated. The sheep – those who 4 Reduce child mortality
have lived a good life – will be placed on the right with the
5 Improve maternal health
promise of being with God. The goats – those who have
neglected God’s way – will find themselves on the left, and 6 Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases
bound for eternal punishment. However, this story is not
7 Ensure environmental sustainability
primarily about separation in some afterlife but about ethical
behaviour and doing good here and now. 8 Develop a global partnership for development.
Here is part of what Jesus said: These goals include four of the six biblical goals leading to
Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “You have my actions of love: food, water, clothes (housing, protection),
Father’s blessing; come, enter and possess the kingdom that has health. However, two important biblical goals do not appear:
been ready for you since the world was made. For when I was the integration of strangers in the community, i.e., for the world
hungry, you gave me food; when thirsty, you gave me drink; to become an inclusive community; and caring for and
when I was a stranger you took me into your home, when naked liberating prisoners. The United Nations avoids mentioning
you clothed me; when I was ill you came to my help, when in sensitive issues such as migration, foreigners, political prisoners
prison you visited me.” (Matthew 25: 34–36). and the violation of human rights. However, according to God,
basic needs include not only material goods but also community,
Elsewhere, in Luke’s gospel, Jesus is even more radical and talks liberation and spiritual goods. The UN excludes sensitive and
about not only visiting prisoners but also releasing them (Luke politically controversial issues in order to unite humanity behind
4:18b). the eight other goals, which is understandable. However, God
in Jesus openly calls for the liberation and inclusion of all people
Six actions of love and, indeed, for the whole of creation.
From these two passages, we can see that God’s basic needs
strategy includes six concrete actions of love: It should be noted, however, that the UN goals also challenge
the biblical list. For example, the MDGs contain the promotion
hunger – provide food
of gender equality but Jesus does not explicitly mention this in
thirst – provide water his strategy. Implicitly, however, it is there and today it must be
made explicit. God’s call for love for all by all, as well as the
stranger (exclusion) – community (inclusion)
call for justice, includes gender justice and gender equality.
nakedness – give clothing (protection, dignity)
sickness – provide health care
God’s basic needs strategy should also be the foundation of
prison – visit and release the prisoner ECLOF’s work and the organization’s point of reference and
orientation for its own vision and strategy. God promises us that
This simple but profound list of basic human needs shows the not only will we see God’s Kingdom if we follow God’s strategy
things that we need to live in dignity. We do not require luxury but that God is accompanying us on the way with his spirit. That
or sophisticated life styles but food, clothes, a home, protection, is a great promise and encouragement!
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Foreign exchange SIDI
ECLOF International Board member Mercedes Canalda reports from the
Dominican Republic, where she is a member of a government committee looking
at ways to increase the effect of money sent home by those who have gone abroad In November 2004, ECLOF
to work. International staff attended a seminar
organised by DanChurchAid, during
One of the most important items in many it can be used as microcredit to fund sav- which representatives of the
Latin American economies is the income ings, house building, loan provision, International Solidarity for Development
from remittances sent by emigrants, espe- health programmes, education and busi- and Investment Company (SIDI)
cially those now living in places such as ness development. explained the aims of their
the United States and Spain. organization.
However, those who send remittances
In many Latin American countries, remit- have to bear in mind a number of impor- The French Committee against Hunger
tances have become an important means tant factors including the speedy and eco- and for Development established SIDI
of support for poor households. nomic delivery of their cash, and the in 1983. The company specialises in
possibility of making money available to the financial and technical support of
The total sums involved are substantial. their families back home in local currency microfinance institutions, promotes
The Dominican Republic is the fourth or US dollars, in order to minimise curren- viable economic activities, and fosters
biggest remittance receiver in Latin cy exchange costs. the establishment of a social and
America after Mexico, Brazil and economic environment capable of
Colombia. It received more than US$2.2 In many countries, the delivery of remit- promoting sustainable development.
billion in 2003. tances is centralised in the hands of a lim-
ited number of distributors, who are The DanChurchAid seminar and the
Because of the significance of this move- considered to have developed useful tools SIDI briefing showed
ment of money, both multilateral and and provide a good service to customers. once more how
national bodies have begun to develop It is interesting to note that banks are now important it is for those
norms and policies on procedures and developing additional distribution meth- involved in microfinance
costs, and to study the macro-economic ods to ensure that remittances can be used to share their experiences
effects of the phenomenon. for other than immediate needs. and knowledge.
Those who receive remittance money use If microfinance institutions are to become
it in a variety of ways. Often, as in the effective channelling agents for remit-
Dominican Republic, people pay for basic
items they could not otherwise afford.
tances they will have to design microcredit
products that regard remittances as collat-
Today, however, the idea is gaining
eral and that will appeal to those who
receive money sent home. celebrates
ground that remittances could be better
used for investments and savings, thus giv- In some countries, regulatory systems only 30 years!
ing the poor a better long-term future. allow supervised institutions to receive
and deliver remittances. Therefore, it will
Founded by the World Council of
One of the most widely discussed ques- be necessary for the microfinance world to
Churches in 1975 as an ecumenical
tions today relates to whether remittances develop strategic alliances between them-
development bank, Oikocredit is this
should continue to be made through for- selves and these approved institutions in
year marking three decades of
mal banking systems. Some now suggest it order to provide a better remittance serv-
achievement. During its thirty years,
would be better to channel the money ice to underprivileged people.
Oikocredit has mobilised €203.5 million
through development organizations so that
of investment capital from 571 members.
With a record €52 million in new
How remittances are spent (%) Who sends remittances (%)
project funding approvals in 2004,
80 No response
Oikocredit has become both a leading
Friends 1.6 specialised development finance
70 institution, particularly for microfinance
organizations, as well as a recognised
“socially responsible investment”
50 Wife/husband instrument.
Other relatives 19
1.6 Parents ECLOF congratulates Oikocredit on its
30th birthday, its excellent performance
26.2 Brother/sister to date, its continued efforts to reach
20 21.8 25.8 Children
15.9 23.4 out to more people in need of financial
resources, and its mobilising of
0 investments from those who wish to
Food Clothes Education Housing Business Savings
realise a social return on their capital.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Tell me by text
branch know if clients were making their
repayments on time? We had had some
poor experiences with other cooperatives,
and so we were naturally cautious this time.
The cell phone is becoming more and more part of everyday life.
Many have a love-hate relationship with their ‘mobile’. However, as Faced with this dilemma, we contacted the
ECLOF Philippines reports, it has provided a solution to a prob- bank in Bataraza where repayments were
lem that threatened to prevent microcredit reaching those who to be made. To our astonishment and
could put it to good use. delight, the bank manager told us there was
an easy answer to our problem, and one
Rev. Mario Abellera is a Methodist pastor cooperative organized 19 groups and the bank had been using for over a year.
with a small congregation in the far-flung ECLOF conducted the necessary loan eval-
town of Bataraza in the Palawan province of uation. Those clients who passed the eval- In 2003, a telecommunications company
the Philippines. He is also chairman of the uation were granted loans. The total due had installed a mobile phone network in
Tribal Christian Multi-Purpose Cooperative to be received by members for their first Bataraza. It was like manna from heaven
(TRICAMCO). Bataraza is 250 kilometres loans came to US$14,600. for the bank because it meant it could
from the provincial capital, Puerto Princesa. send details of repayments by SMS, or text
It takes more than six hours to travel from However, one problem prevented us from messaging to whomever needed them.
Bataraza to Puerto Princesa by bus because releasing the loan. We had no office in With this technology available, our
of the unpaved and rough road. Worse, Bataraza where TRICAMCO is based. For an Palawan branch was able to make the
public transport is only available until three ECLOF staff member to travel to Bataraza to loans and now receives daily reports of
in the afternoon. Anyone missing this bus monitor repayments of the loan would be amounts repaid at the bank. If any pay-
must wait until the next day to travel. too costly and eat up all the income from ments have not been made, details are
the loan. Though there was a bank in included in the messages and we then
ECLOF Philippines has a branch in Puerto Bataraza, it was not connected to the contact TRICAMCO so that Pastor Abellera
Princesa. Last year, we agreed to provide Internet because there was no landline and his colleagues can deal with the prob-
microfinance for TRICAMCO so that it available. Without any staff or office in the lem before it gets out of hand.
could provide credit to its members. The area, how could the ECLOF Palawan
News from NECs
Cuba hosts microfinance talks
Institutions – Latin America (INAFI-LA) held
its assembly. The meeting appointed José
Luis Pereira as secretary to the board of
directors. INAFI-LA is made up of 17
Last December, José Luis Pereira Ossio, the ered successful from a financial viewpoint microfinance institutions from various
director of ECLOF Bolivia (ANED), took but that have weak social and economic Latin American countries.
part in the Seventh International impact on groups with high poverty levels.
Conference on Micro and Small Businesses. He added that the term “microfinance
The conference met in the Cuban capital
industry” refers to a global concept where
the unequal relationship that countries
of Havana under the theme, “The global-
ization of financial services for micro-busi-
have with each other has been repro-
duced. The same is true of the inefficiency
nesses and its impact on the fight against of economic development models that are
We are sad to report the death in a car
poverty”. More than 500 people attended exclusively market oriented.
accident of Javier Flores, the Chief of
and debate was intense. José Luis reports
Office at our Tupiza-Potosí branch. Javier
that it was generally agreed that microfi- Appointment
died on 27 December last year. The loss
nance institutions need to increase the Alongside the international conference in
of our colleague and friend makes us
ways in which they integrate with and Cuba, the Network of Alternative Financial
reflect deeply on the commitment of all
complement other development factors,
ECLOF staff and the risks they run in
particularly national governments.
carrying out their work in rural areas.
Javier believed in the building of a better
In a contribution to a panel on
and fairer society. In sincere homage to
“Microfinance, globalization and poverty”,
him, we renew our commitment to ANED
the ANED director spoke about the way in
and the role it must play in the
which financial and political powers are
development of the poor.
increasingly becoming involved in microfi-
nance for development. José Luis told his
ECLOF International expresses its
audience that the current model shows a
José Luis Pereira Ossio (left) in discussion with ECLOF sincere condolences to the family of
series of factors and processes that have International Director Muhungi Kanyoro, on a recent visit Javier Flores and his ANED colleagues.
led to the creation of institutions consid- to Geneva.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
On your bike!
More people visited means more people can benefit from
New Horizons has regularly reported on the increased use of If a credit officer travels to clients by public bus, then everyone
motorbikes by national ECLOF committees. Colleagues in Kenya knows when to expect him or her to arrive. Travelling by
now reflect on how their work has benefited from the introduction motorbike gives more flexibility and makes possible ‘surprise’
of two-wheeled travel. visits, which we have found are vital in carrying out effective
monitoring of a client’s performance.
Our clients are predominately in rural areas that can only be
reached on unpaved roads. In bad weather, travelling by We have also discovered that using a motorbike makes it much
motorbike is almost the only option. easier to track down loan defaulters and help them sort out their
repayment problems. Sometimes we are able to trace people
Motorbikes also bring other advantages, as a look at the figures right to their isolated homes. This would not be possible if we
involved shows. Our branch in the town of Meru currently had to rely only on public transport.
handles 1,605 clients, who belong to a total of 118 groups.
Using a motorbike, a credit officer can visit five groups a day, If a group gets into repayment
with each group having an average of 15 borrowers. This difficulties, it can sometimes be
means a staff member can see at least 75 clients in a day and it better for two officers to deal with
makes the monitoring of groups much easier. Groups also know the problem together. Motorbikes
that the ECLOF person will turn up on time and not be subject to make this much easier to achieve
public transport delays. because a second staff member
simply hops on to the pillion seat,
The use of a motorbike also means more individual clients can and no extra travelling costs are
be visited. A credit officer on a bike can make up to 30 incurred. In addition, when
appraisal visits in a day. making outreach and
Peter Mutuma (by motorcycle), ECLOF Kenya
promotional visits, two officers
credit officer in Meru, about 300 kms from travelling to an area together can
Enoka Tunya (left), ECLOF credit officer
Nairobi, with some of his clients from the increase the outreach
in the town of Eldoret, at the welding
Kawira Solidarity Group at their shop. Peter
comments, “One thing I really appreciate
shop of his client, Morris Onyango, who considerably compared to what it
is a member of the Ua La Kondeni would have been if one person
about using the motorbike is my ability to
reach marginalized communities. Due to had gone by public transport.
their inaccessibility, they would not otherwise
receive microcredit services. A case in point
is a group of small-scale wheat producers. All of this sends signals to ECLOF clients that we are a serious
Now they have received microcredit loans, and efficient organization, and one with whom it is worth doing
their incomes have significantly increased.”
COFEP president calls for strengthening
Ana Sofia Franky Silva has been a member
of the executive and finance committees of
Women’s World Banking Colombia since
of links with ECLOF family 2002. For the last five years, she has also
worked as an independent consultant with
small and medium-sized businesses, and is
number of difficulties, and reform was a consultant to a national guarantee fund
necessary. New board members and mem- institution that is part of Colombia’s
ber institutions were appointed, including Ministry of Development.
a new director, Maria Victoria Aguirre,
who took up her post in December 2004.
The new strategy has been implemented
The new director of
and additional support from ECLOF
International is being discussed.
Against this background, Ana Sofia has
called for a strengthening of COFEP’s links
On a visit to ECLOF Colombia (COFEP), George Petty finance and
(back row, centre), executive staff member of ECLOF with the rest of the ECLOF family. This,
International, met the new COFEP president, Ana Sofia she believes, is necessary if COFEP is to
Franky Silva (back row, fourth from right) and the new qualifications, including
continue its work of assisting the develop-
COFEP director, Maria Victoria Aguirre, (back row, fourth at post-graduate level. She has been
from left), together with the staff team. Also in the ment of poor communities that have
photograph is COFEP board member, Enna Sofia Lemus
working in Colombia within the
placed their trust in ECLOF for more than
Cañon (back row, third from left). banking world since 1991.
Immediately before joining COFEP,
As soon as Ana Sofia Franky Silva took
Maria Victoria provided consultancy
up her post as president of ECLOF The COFEP president holds a degree in
services to micro- and medium sized
Colombia (COFEP) in March 2003, she business administration and has spent a
companies. She was also a consultant
began the task of implementing a new long career mostly working in the field of
to the Colombian government’s
strategy designed to make the organization credit risk management with various finan-
Ministry of Economic Development.
financially sustainable. COFEP had faced a cial institutions in Colombia.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Meet ECLOF staff
Finance Network (RFR). What is
NA The RFR is a self-regulation committee
and I represent ECLOF on it. The RFR is an
On a recent visit to ECLOF Ecuador, and for New Horizons, George Petty, execu- association of microfinance institutions
tive staff member of ECLOF International, interviewed Nelly Abara, who is based (MFIs) and co-operatives that are not regu-
in ECLOF’s Quito office. Nelly, like many women, has to combine a demanding job lated by the central bank. They work on
with being a mother but she still makes time to think big. issues of transparency, training, growth of
member organisations, and the provision
the children. Now, they are happier and I to members of financial indicators soft-
do not have to worry about them. ware.
NH How long have you been with ECLOF NH Does the RFR help you
and what do you do? meet people from other MFIs?
NA Since October 2003. I am the Director NA Yes! I have clients that I met through
of Projects but my responsibilities are a bit the RFR (these are institutional clients).
of everything. I administer the portfolio, The benefit of meeting others is really
review loans, work with the budget, etc. I important. It shows that we are not alone.
like the work because it has different We can make alliances. In fact, ECLOF
aspects to it. I enjoy my contact with Ecuador has made several new relation-
clients; it is very satisfying to see the ships thanks to the RFR. Before we joined
ECLOF staff member Nelly Abara visits some of her clients
on their broccoli farm. progress they make. Lending is ECLOF the RFR, we were not very well known but
Ecuador’s primary business and we need now we are! The RFR also helps with
NH Nelly, where are you originally from? to focus on it. However, in the future I making contacts outside the country,
NA Riobamba City. It is the capital of hope we can also develop non-financial as with the Inter-American Development
Riobamba province, and has a population services. Clients ask us for them and, Bank (www.iadb.org) and the
of about 250,000. The province itself has rather than sending people elsewhere, we Microfinance Information eXchange
the highest percentage of indigenous peo- could have a database of service providers (www.themix.org).
ple in the country, and agriculture is the to whom we could refer clients, and there-
biggest activity. There are few jobs in by earn a commission from these referrals. NH How do you see
Riobamba City other than public services. ECLOF Ecuador’s future?
The result is that many people leave to NH What is most difficult in your job? NA There are lots of possibilities and plans
find work elsewhere. NA We work as a team but sometimes we for new products. I see us growing to a
could do with planning together more. US$14 million loan portfolio. We could
NH Is that why you left for Quito? However, there are so few of us that we become a regulated finance institution and
NA Yes. I did my university graduate and do not always have time to do this. We are collect savings. In Ecuador, this is one
post-graduate studies in Riobamba. After also in a period of transition with new staff level off being a bank. We have the ability
graduation and despite my academic qual- that have come on board. One of our to grow and become really big. Obviously,
ifications, it was hard to get a job because problems is arrears. The older the loans, to achieve this we will need more money
I lacked experience. Therefore, I studied the more difficult they are to collect. and support from ECLOF International, as
business management and got a job with Things move slowly in the legal system. well as a strong board.
an oil transportation company. However, I
really wanted to work for an organization NH But your arrears have dropped! NH What does its relationship
whose concerns went beyond profits. NA Yes, that is true and I sometimes look with ECLOF International mean for
Eventually, I joined a financial co-opera- at how long I spend collecting old loans ECLOF Ecuador?
tive. It was during this time that I married and wonder if it is worth it. However, if we NA It is a strength for us. It helps us grow.
and had two children. My job was two are to continue to grow, we need the cap- We see we are part of a global family with
hours away from Quito, where my hus- ital that is tied up in arrears, as well as new a common mission and vision. It helps us
band worked. In the end, I left the cooper- income. strengthen our relations. Your presence is
ative and joined my husband in Quito with very important. I am able to tell our clients
the children. There, I found another job NH I understand you have just been that we are part of a global network.
with a co-operative. From that job I went appointed to a body known as the Rural
on to the Christian Youth Association (ACJ)
and then to ECLOF Ecuador.
NH How did you manage
childcare throughout this time? Jorge Salinas (right), Executive Director of ECLOF
NA Working and being a mother is hard. Ecuador, and Manuel Quintero, communications
We had domestic help but this brought its director of the Latin American Council of Churches
own problems. I like work, and I want to (CLAI), during a visit by ECLOF international to their
work and do so professionally, but this two organizations. During the meeting, ECLOF and
was a difficult situation. It is hard to bal- CLAI representatives discussed their respective
ance home and work responsibilities. activities and exchanged views about areas where
they could work more closely together. Since this
NH Is the situation better now? meeting, Manuel Quintero has been appointed the new director of Frontier Internship
NA Yes, my in-laws help. We moved close for Mission, which is based at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland.
to them. This is especially beneficial for
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
ECLOF Uruguay New faces at
Someone already well known in the
Top posts for board members marketing of products through the estab- ECLOF family has joined the international
The government lishment of alliances within South and staff in Geneva. Joy Cadangen
of Uruguay has Central America. Lumbag, a former international board
appointed Alicia member, is now our finance manager. Joy,
ECLOF International congratulates a former treasurer of ECLOF Philippines,
Melgar, a former
belongs to the Igorot indigenous people of
board member of Alicia and Celia on their important
the Cordilleras in the Philippines. Joy holds
ECLOF Uruguay appointments and wishes them well in qualifications in accountancy and business
(FEDU), to head their new spheres of work. administration. She has a wealth of
up the National experience in microfinance and is a
Institute of New president former finance officer of the Episcopal
Statistics. Alicia is an eminent economist Mario García Diocese of North Central Philippines as
well as Chief Executive Officer of her
and her appointment, which is a non-polit- has been
church’s pension fund.
ical one, recognises her expertise. Alicia appointed presi-
Melgar was a board member of FEDU from dent of FEDU. Former ECLOF
its inception. She completed her term of Mario first joined International
office at the end of 2004. the FEDU board Nejib Ababor
in 1999 as a rep- hands over his
Celia Barrato, resentative of the responsibilities to
who joined the Uruguayan ecu- Lumbag. Nejib has
FEDU board last menical organization, Servicio Ecuménico overseen major
changes in the
December, has Solidario (SES), which promotes co-opera- transformation of ECLOF finances, accounting,
been appointed tives and solidarity groups in order to pro- monitoring and reporting since joining the
organization some nine years ago. ECLOF
director of the vide solutions to issues of health, housing, appreciates the dedication and professional manner
Technological food and work. Mario García has been part with which Nejib has handled his responsibilities, and
Laboratory of of the SES management team since 1998, wishes him well in his future career.
Uruguay (LATU). and in charge of assessing the administra-
Created in 1965, LATU is a collaboration of tive and accountancy needs of groups and In April, Perrine
Bell took up her
private and public sectors to develop new co-operatives. post as executive
technologies and improve the quality and assistant at ECLOF
is Anglo-French by
Jérôme Michel Clark is the new executive director of birth and enjoyed
ECLOF Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). He took up his post last a multicultural
September. Jérôme holds a master’s degree in business education in England and France. She is
administration from Kansas State University in the USA. To bilingual in English and French, and also
gain his MBA, Jérôme specialised in finance and writes and speaks Spanish. Brought up in
accountancy. Prior to joining ECLOF, he was chief accountant West Africa as a child, Perrine studied
communication and diplomacy at
for Cargill West Africa S.A. Cargill is an international
university in England. She has worked
provider of food, agricultural and risk management products abroad for Médecins sans Frontières as a
and services. Jérôme was also previously involved in the field administrator, and also held several
training and evaluation of microfinance institutions, including ECLOF Côte d’Ivoire. He communications-related posts with
is an active member of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship. international organizations in Geneva.
Planning for the future
Mr Nils-Gunnar Smith, The subjects Nils-Gunnar discussed with shareholder-based and finding
microfinance adviser at the colleagues included: shareholders;
Church of Sweden and mem-
how to improve loan collections; capacity building, the training of staff
ber of ECLOF’s International board and
and how to keep trained staff in the
executive committee, visited three African fundraising and how NECs can
national ECLOF committees (NECs) in increase their capital from local
Kenya, Uganda and Zambia in March of this resources in addition to those coming effective risk management in the face
year, and held discussions about some of the from ECLOF International; of HIV/AIDs, and how to develop
challenges and opportunities ECLOF faces. credit programmes to respond to the
NECs becoming regulated microfinance
needs of those infected and affected.
institutions (MFIs) and the new MFI
After his visit, Nils-Gunnar said he had
banking laws that have been put into
been extremely touched by the warm wel- All these issues and more will be
place in Uganda, will probably be
come he had received in all three coun- addressed in ECLOF’s 2005/2009 strategic
implemented soon in Kenya, and are
tries. This, together with his meetings and plan and are currently issues being dis-
likely to reach Zambia later;
conversations with ECLOF officers, staff cussed during consultations, regional
and clients had made him proud to be part requirements arising from becoming workshops and visits by the international
of the ECLOF family. an MFI, for example, becoming secretariat.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Meet ECLOF clients
House of education
In some ways, Mi amigo Jesús is unconven-
tional. It bans chocolate, sodas and artificial
sweets in favour of natural more healthy
food snacks. Pupils take home what they
The Mi amigo Jesús (My friend Jesus) Over the years, the solidarity group grow in the school’s vegetable gardens.
school located in the village of Mariscal formed to operate the school has received The school is modern in outlook; it pro-
Caceres – 35 kms from Lima, the capital of a number of ECLOF loans. The first one, in vides computer training for children from
Peru – just cannot seem to stop growing. 1998, helped the school to get going. A nursery age. Parents are directly involved
second loan, in 1999, made possible the in the running of the school and meet reg-
Rosa and Eugenio Trujillo opened the building of a second floor to provide more ularly to discuss policies and plans.
school in 1998 after moving to Mariscal teaching space. Two years later, the school
Caceres, when Mr Trujillo retired from the used a further loan to equip a kinder- The Mi amigo Jesús school is another
navy. To do so, they used Eugenio’s retire- garten, as well as first and second grade example of what a series of ECLOF loans
ment pension and the family savings. Their classrooms. can achieve over a period of years. One
decision was motivated by the fact that the wonders how much higher the Trujillo’s
only state school in the district was over- Further loans paid for a third floor to be home can get!
crowded and the level of education there added to the building, more classrooms,
notoriously low. There were good local and a computer laboratory with ten work- Many of the pupils at the Mi amigo Jesús
private schools but many parents could stations and PCs. The school received its school come from very poor families.
not afford to pay the expensive fees. latest loan of US$8,000 last January and Tania Gutiérrez, aged seven, was in the
has used the money to provide new bath- first grade of the Mi amigo Jesús school.
The school began in the Trujillo’s home with rooms and three more classrooms. Tania lived with her mother and her 20-
eight pupils. Within three years there were year-old sister. Their father had
95 children and the family home was burst- Today, the school has more than 200 stu- abandoned them. Tania’s mother was
ing at the seams! Today, the Trujillos contin- dents in classes from elementary to 10th terminally ill with cancer, and her sister,
ue to look after the administration of the grade. who worked as a housemaid, was the
school, and employ high quality teachers. only one who brought any money into
the home. From her income, Tania’s sister
just about managed to pay for Tania’s
schooling. After their mother died,
Tania’s sister could no longer afford to
pay the school fees so Mi amigo Jesús
awarded Tania a scholarship for the rest
of the school year. In 2004, Tania’s sister
enrolled her again and the school was
able to help by allowing her to pay as
and when she could.
Growing up in Peru and becoming well educated, thanks to a very special school.
Fivefold success in Arazap! The farmers housed all of their animals in a cattle shed owned
by the group leader, Hmayak Asatryan, who had received the
building in the share-out of state properties during the
In Armenia, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the privatisation process.
early 1990s, the privatisation of former state properties began
to take place. As a result, individuals each received animals, The members of Arazap-3 come from a variety of backgrounds.
buildings or small plots of land. Many families were then able to Hmayak Asatryan used to work in the top management of a
begin farming. state collective farm. He has good farming knowledge and
experience, including a university diploma. Marjanik Arakelyan
However, people had received so little that for many it was is also a university graduate and was previously a director of
almost impossible to produce enough food for personal the local government-run kindergarten. Mamikon Kostanyan
consumption, let alone enough to run a business. The answer used to work as a herdsman. The remaining two members, who
was for individuals to form small groups. are in their late twenties and much younger than their
colleagues, went straight into farming from school. By the time
That is what five members from three families did in the small they joined Arazap-3 they had enough experience to be eligible
village of Arazap in the Valley of Ararat. The outcome was the for an ECLOF loan.
Arazap-3 solidarity group. Between them, group members
already owned ten cows. The five farmers took out a first ECLOF To date, the Arazap-3 group has received three ECLOF loans that
loan of US$2500 ($500 each) to buy ten more cows, and with have been well used to expand cattle breeding activities, as well
the addition of US$2400 of their own money, they also bought as the production of milk and meat. The farmers plan to increase
ten bull calves and some fodder. milk production further, and diversify into cheese making.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Eleven years ago, a group of 23 Kenyan Ngecha Tablecloth Women’s Group, as the from Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The
women, who individually made and sold women call themselves, show that micro- average age of the Ngecha Tablecloth
knitted goods and tablecloths, got together credit coupled with strong leadership can Women’s Group members is 47, and it is
to try to increase their incomes and produce long term development. the longest standing client of KECLOF’s
expand their businesses by finding sources regional office in the nearby town of
of additional capital. The group’s name, explains founder mem- Limuru. To date, the group has received
ber Miriam Njeri, derives from where the six increasingly substantial loans. The lat-
Since then, many group members have women live and work. Ngecha is an area est credit was for a total of just over one
taken out a series of ECLOF Kenya with a population of about 10,000, and lies million Kenyan shillings (US$13,300).
(KECLOF) loans. Today, the results of the within the Kiambu district, some 25 kms
With her first KECLOF loan, Mary Wangui Mbiyu Miriam Njeri says she
increased her stock of materials for making tablecloths. A has greatly benefited
second loan meant she could increase the range of items in her from the ECLOF loans
shop; sales increased substantially. As a result, Mary Mbiyu she has received over
bought a plot of land with the hope of having a house on it the years. “Poverty used
one day. After a third loan that enabled Mary to expand her to create a strain
business even further, this enterprising woman built her between me and my
planned home. Then came a fourth loan and Mary Mbiyu husband because we
diversified her business. She bought three cows and also were not able to pay to
began to buy other goods from a southern African company. educate our children”,
She sold these goods in her shop on commission. Mary used a Mrs Njeri explains.
fifth loan to buy some laying hens, and was then able to sell “Now we can do so,
eggs to local schools. Currently, Mary is repaying a sixth loan and this is helping the
that she has used to increase her number of hens and buy the general fight on
feed they need. illiteracy and
A pay phone, bought with an ECLOF loan, has dependency in our
increased the takings in Miriam Njeri’s shop. country.”
With a first loan, Miriam increased the stock of her tablecloth
business. She bought a dairy cow with a second loan, more
stock with a third, and then, with a fourth, built some rooms for
rent at the Ngecha trading centre, where she is based. Mrs
Njeri also added to this loan money she had saved as a result
of increased income because of her earlier loans. With a fifth
loan, Miriam bought a pick up truck to transport her goods and
animal feedstuffs. This saved the hefty monthly rental bill she
previously had to pay for a pick up truck, and now Mrs Njeri
also has the flexibility to use her truck whenever she needs it.
Today, her shop sells a wide variety of food and household
goods. Miriam is currently repaying a sixth loan with which she
Everything starts somewhere. Mary Mbiyu begins another tablecloth for sale in her bought a payphone for her shop, plus added stock. She hopes
shop. From small origins, her business has increased thanks to a series of ECLOF loans. to open a supermarket in Ngecha in the future.
According to Pauline Njeri, ECLOF’s loan programme has made
her dreams come true. She recently bought a piece of land and is
hoping to develop it soon.
A decade ago, Pauline used her first two loans to expand her
tablecloth business and also to buy a cow and sell milk.
With a third loan, Pauline bought a sewing machine to make
dresses. Her business expanded and with two more loans she
bought two more sewing machines and increased her stock. Her
business continued to grow; now her tailoring shop employs other
members of the community. Pauline is on her sixth loan with which
she bought some land on which she plans to build a more
substantial shop. With a series of ECLOF loans, Pauline Njeri built up her tailoring business, now owns
three sewing machines, and can provide employment for others in her community.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Whatever happened to…?
NH Why are you concentrating so firmly
DM Because it has many advantages com-
pared to other agricultural activities. For
Five years ago, New Horizons (Issue 24) told the story of Daniel Moreno and his example, honey can be exported and we
passion for bee-keeping, on which he had based his family business in Uruguay. get paid in US dollars. In addition, the
New Horizons has contacted Daniel again to find out how things are going today. market is such that we can sell everything
we produce. The business provides per-
request a loan, they must calculate manent jobs for local people; this prevents
whether their business plans will bring in migration from our area. Investment costs
enough money to repay the debt as well are low and we also do not have to own
as make a living. The calculation should the land on which we keep our hives.
also take into consideration the fact that
the market price of what is produced may NH Do you work outside your family
go down, and production costs may rise. business?
Then, there is always a chance that there DM Yes, I am an adviser to others who
might be bad weather, when little or noth- wish to invest in bee-keeping. For the last
ing can be produced. three years, I have been a consultant to a
group in Artigas, a region in the far north of
NH What happened to you after you Uruguay. I also belong to a group of bee-
received your loans? keepers in my own region and we work
DM On this point, let me tell you that dur- with seven similar groups from other parts
ing the 1999/2000 season, we endured a of the country. As an association, we act as
Daniel Moreno (right) and his business partner, Marcos, period of drought caused by the El Niño consultants to more than 130 honey pro-
carefully tend their bees.
phenomenon. During this time, we pro- ducers. In addition, the members of this
NH Daniel, you have received two loans duced no honey and, to make matters association now combine efforts and we
from ECLOF. What were you able to worse, we lost a high percentage of our have begun the direct exporting of the
achieve because of these? beehives. As a result, we were late in mak- honey that we all produce. There are many
DM The results have been significant, par- ing our loan repayments. Thankfully, the other ways in which we cooperate with
ticularly because we received the loans at next season we recovered and paid the each other. For example, we buy and sell
a time when the price of honey was low amount we owed. bees to each other, and we support various
and there were restrictions in Uruguay’s research projects to improve both the quan-
foreign exchange system. Without the NH How is your family business doing tity and quality of the honey we produce.
ECLOF credit, we would not have been now?
able to develop our business. DM Thank God, it is doing well and we NH Do you think these
are in a healthy situation. The high prices experiences can apply
NH From your experience, is it always we received for our honey from the last to other regions or
right for micro-enterprises to seek loans? two harvests have allowed us to pay all countries?
DM It is a very positive thing to do but our bills; we are now planning a 30% DM I believe so but they
some considerations should also be taken growth in the business through the use of must be adapted to local
into account. First, before any individuals our personal assets. Daniel Moreno. and regional realities.
Youth job creation in Tanzania salary, though some opt to leave and
begin their own businesses. After
completing a tailoring course, fourteen
Many young people have found employment in Tanzania thanks to a project that has girls branched out on their own. Three
grown significantly over the years. others remained with AYDS and, as part
of their work, look after beehives in their
Back in 1983, meal, cinnamon and honey. Originally backyards.
Afri-Youth based in the city of Arusha, where there
Development has always been a good demand for From food production, the group has
Services (AYDS) AYDS products, the group has expanded moved into food processing. The market
was created to and recently opened new branches in for its goods is so buoyant that AYDS
tackle Moshi and the capital, Dar es Salaam. finds it cannot
malnutrition keep up with
Bottling honey needs a steady among children Afri-Youth Development Services received demand. More
hand at the Afri-Youth
Development Services, where and sick elderly a loan from ECLOF Tanzania in 2002 financial support
many youngsters find steady people, as well and ploughed back into the business the will be needed if
employment. as to provide extra profits the loan made possible. In Afri-Youth
vocational training for young men and turn, the group was able to improve and Development
women who were not able to go on to increase its business with the result that Services is to
secondary education from primary AYDS opened its two new branches. build on its
school. current success
Young people who complete their and fulfil its
AYDS now produces clothes and training at AYDS are able to remain with potential.
Feeding corn into the mill to
foodstuffs, such as flour, soya drink, soya the project at a guaranteed regular produce fine flour.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Sporting chances in Brazil Onda Sport is well known for its high
quality and well designed products. Over
the past 14 years, it has increased its
An ECLOF loan of just over US$28,000 1991, Onda Sport began to make a workforce substantially. As a result of the
has enabled a sports clothes manufacturer number of clothing items, including shirts, ECLOF loan, Onda Sport was able to
in Brazil to expand and provide significant blouses and swimsuits. Six people, using take on 20 new employees. The total
additional work for local people. four sewing machines, worked in the workforce now stands at around 80, of
factory at the beginning. After a year, which 92% are women. Many of these
Onda Sport is based in Barrio Uruguay, Onda Sport received a commercial bank women have had little schooling (25%
which is a poor area of the city of loan to buy more sewing machines and reached first grade and 51% second
Salvador in the State of Bahia. In this increase its working capital. In 1999, the grade). In addition, 40% of Onda
region, a low-income family needs three factory began to make polo shirts, and in Sport’s female workers are mothers who
salaries in order to meet their basic costs. 2000 moved to its current location, represent the only source of income for
Almost 55% out of a total population of where many micro-enterprises connected their families.
54,000 are in this position. to the clothing industry are located.
Onda Sport used its ECLOF loan to
Until the 1940s, Barrio Uruguay and the More than profit increase further its working capital in
surrounding area was the centre of The enterprise has an impressive order to improve its ability to buy raw
Brazil’s textile industry. Then, it moved approach to social responsibility. On one materials and keep production lines
elsewhere and people had to find other day each month, the clothes produced running all year round. This means
ways of earning a living. Recently, a are donated to local children in need. workers can be employed continuously
shopping centre opened in Barrio Any fabric left over from making these rather than on a seasonal basis. It also
Uruguay with products and prices garments is given to community groups ensures that stock is available in periods
suitable for residents in the area. Items to use for handicrafts and other small of high demand, for example, around
on sale include goods produced by local income-generating products. Christmas and the end of the year.
micro-enterprises, such as jewellers,
tailors and other clothing manufacturers. Onda Sport sells almost three-quarters
Most of the 240 shops and businesses in of its production to retail shops.
the centre have signed a Local Interestingly, the factory also sells 20% of
Production Agreement. This agreement is its clothing to sacoleiras: women who sell
a local initiative of organizations in the in market places and door-to-door. Many
textile industry to develop cooperation of these women belong to micro-
and common policies. enterprise solidarity groups. The women
have not only improved their own life
Onda Sport chances but through their doorstep
One of the businesses that has helped to selling in remote communities, they also
re-introduce the clothing industry to the provide quality clothing products to those
Quality control at Onda Sport is a key part of the
Barrio Uruguay area is Onda Sport. In company’s success. who have no access to regular shops.
Lending to lenders
collateral conditions that apply to MFI
directors’ personal assets are also required.
To serve a population it could not otherwise reach, ECLOF Uganda has moved into
providing loans to other microfinance institutions (MFIs). Women gain from new approach
Uganda has one of the lowest GDPs in the Problems and solutions In line with its policy of lending to the
world. An estimated 80% of the population This approach is not without its draw- poor and most marginalized, ECLOF
lives below subsistence level. Most citizens backs. It takes at least three months to set Uganda has formed a partnership with
(more than 80%) depend on subsistence up a new process and disburse the first the Uganda Finance Trust Limited, which
farming and small-scale trading activities loan. Some smaller MFIs that could be is a microfinance institution formed in
for their livelihood. Therefore, the demand involved chose not to be, whilst larger March 2004 to assume the financial
for microfinance services is very high. The MFIs have more options open to them. services business of the Uganda
large financial institutions have traditionally Smaller MFIs represent a larger risk than Women’s Finance Trust Limited (UWFT).
failed to provide credit to the poor, which bigger agencies, and their need for capital
makes organizations such as ECLOF vital. is seasonal and unpredictable. It is also dif- UWFT offers a woman-friendly financial
ficult to standardise terms and conditions environment whereby women are
On its own, ECLOF Uganda does not have for all MFIs. In addition, most smaller insti- counselled and introduced to the
the capacity to reach and service large tutions do not have property to offer as benefits of saving and using credit
numbers of additional clients. One answer collateral. appropriately. Today, UWFT has over
to this is for ECLOF to lend through other 21,000 borrowers and 90,000 savers.
microfinance institutions (MFIs). It increas- To cope with these problems, it is neces- Operations are run at 21 branches in
es client and area reach at reasonable cost, sary to set fairly stringent conditions and 20 districts. ECLOF Uganda supports
whilst minimising risks. For ECLOF, it also target a few well-established institutions. the organization by providing capital
means lower overheads and increased net- In doing this, it makes sense to use local for on-lending activities to UWFT’s
working, and staff are freed to concentrate microfinance associations to market prod- clients.
on loan collection. ucts and vet applications from MFIs. Strict
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Books and publications
Sustaining Microfinance in mate mission of the MFI – to be a sustain- Any MFI thinking of going into new areas
Post-Disaster Asia able provider of financial services – is not to provide emergency financial assistance
Guidance for MFIs and Donors compromised. is advised to plan its long-term presence in
By The Consultative Group to Assist these areas carefully. Clients without prior
the Poor MFIs knowledge of an MFI’s commercial rates
The CGAP briefing contains some key and commitment to sustainability may ini-
As the communi- principles for MFIs: tially view the organization as another
ties most affect- relief agency or temporary donor pro-
maintain a commitment to sustainable gramme.
ed by the recent
tsunami contin- customise solutions according to Donor support
ue to rebuild their lives, microfinance insti- clients’ needs (CGAP suggests that CGAP says that donors must understand
tutions (MFIs) can play a powerful part on specific criteria should be defined for the options available to MFIs in post-disas-
the path to recovery. Since the immediate loan officers to make decisions about ter situations, as well as the corresponding
aftermath of the tragedy, MFIs have been rescheduling and providing grants); constraints. Donors should be responsive
providing and coordinating emergency to the local context, ensure the separation
relief, and a few are beginning to help be realistic about MFI role. between relief and microfinance (MFIs are
local communities reconstruct homes and not relief agencies), stick to microfinance
return to economic activity. Amongst some suggested guidelines, CGAP good practices, and avoid setting disburse-
says MFIs should lift compulsory savings ment targets (this may tempt an MFI to
Against this background, The Consultative requirements in branches affected by the take on clients who will not be able to
Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) has pub- tsunami until the emergency stage has repay their debt).
lished guidelines for microfinance institu- passed and clients have begun reconstruc-
tions and donors. The guidelines are tion. It adds that rescheduling loans on a The full text of Sustaining
intended to help MFIs provide the appro- case-by-case basis can help MFIs avoid Microfinance in Post-Disaster Asia is
priate range of emergency and longer-term losses and defaults on their loan portfolio, available, free of charge, on the CGAP
assistance to their clients, while enabling and ensure that any cash flow earned by Web site at: www.cgap.org/docs/
both MFIs and donors ensure that the ulti- those hardest hit stays in the household. CGAPBrief_03_03_05.pdf.
Microcredit: author provides an excellent introduction acceptable level and therefore a relevant
Sound business or to the world of microcredit. In fact, this is development target.” Even more challeng-
development Gert van Mannen’s aim. The publication is ing are the author’s thoughts on what
instrument not for experts. Instead, it is a primer for would be the implications for the distribu-
Gert van Maannen, those who are relatively new to microcre- tion of world income and entitlements if
Oikocredit/ICCO dit, which exists to serve those Mr van the figure were to be raised from one to
Maannen calls “unbankable”. two dollars a day.
The author of this accessi-
ble book, Gert van It is worth reading this book for many rea- In answering the question posed by the
Maannen, is a former sons, and not least because of the chal- book’s sub-title, and when push comes to
Managing Director and board lenging slant the author puts on familiar shove, the author plumps for microcredit
member of Oikocredit. This is an ecumeni- facts and figures. For example, today, as a development instrument rather than a
cal development cooperative society found- microcredit supports around 50 million commercial one. However, he also
ed at the initiative of the World Council of people. This sounds impressive, says Gert believes that sooner or later microfinance
Churches in 1975 as an alternative invest- van Maannen, until one realises that the institutions have to stand on their own
ment instrument for churches, and designed figure represents only 5% of those who try feet, and not always depend on friendly
to operate closer to the values of the to survive on less than one dollar a day. donor capital. Discovering how van
Sermon on the Mount than to Wall Street. He also describes this yardstick as “too Maannen reaches this conclusion is well
simplistic… because, first of all, it creates worth the time it will take to read his
Microcredit: Sound business or develop- the impression that one dollar a day is an book.
ment instrument is a revised version of a
paper presented by Gert van Maannen New Web site for ECLOF USA
during his farewell symposium in June
2001 at the Royal Tropical Institute in New Horizons is pleased to announce that
Amsterdam. ECLOF USA, which supports and promotes
the work of ECLOF in the United States, has
As the title indicates, the book examines launched its own Web site. Check out what
whether microfinance institutions should our colleagues have to say at
primarily be commercially or development www.eclofusa.org.
oriented. In addressing this question, the
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Mobilizing Savings – Mobilizing Savings has been developed by There are four chapters: 1)Why and how
Key issues and Good Intercooperation, a Swiss development do poor households save?; 2)Mobilizing
Practices in Savings organization, on behalf of The Swiss monetary savings from low-income house-
Promotion Agency for Development and Cooperation holds: The institutional perspective;
Isabel Dauner Gardiol, (SDC), which stresses the strategic impor- 3)Product development, diversification and
Swiss Agency for tance of savings for development. The innovation; 4)Legal and economic frame-
Development and author is from Intercooperation. work for savings mobilization. All chapters
Cooperation contain examples and case studies.
In an introduction, SDC says that, “Even
This publication is aimed at all those poorest households want to save and do Mobilizing Savings is available on the
involved in the promotion of savings serv- save, be it in kind or in cash, to overcome Intercooperation Web site at:
ices to the poor. As readers of New difficult periods. They save in financial http://www.intercooperation.ch/finan
Horizons will be aware, this is a topic of institutions if they have access to those ce/download/tec-notes-savings/techni-
current high interest to microfinance institutions and if they trust in them”. cal-note-saving-final-eng.pdf, and is
organizations such as ECLOF. also available in French and Spanish.
The ART of “upscaling”
leagues for ways in which we could
upscale our portfolio. This included diver-
sifying the loan products we offer, and
providing higher working capital loans to
Tissa Jayawardena, a programme officer with ECLOF Sri Lanka, has taken part in a suitable micro-entrepreneurs, who could
three-week workshop on “The ART (Advanced Reflective Training) of upscaling then be expected to provide employment
microfinance”. New Horizons asked Tissa to tell us about the experience and what for others in their communities. I also sug-
he had learnt. gested that ECLOF Sri Lanka should pro-
vide seasonal loans to clients irrespective
The workshop began in Madurai, India, Lending to the poor of any outstanding loans, but only if clients
and then moved to Dhaka in Bangladesh We considered the fact that microfinance have a good record with ECLOF. I also rec-
in order for participants to consider micro- institutions (MFIs) have to realise that ommended that we should organize
credit in different contexts. The money lent to the poor is not always used regional workshops for rural clients.
Development of Humane Action for the purpose for which it is given; some-
Foundation (DHAN), a professional Indian times loans are diverted for other purposes. Profile of the clients of an MFI/NGO
development agency, organized the ART This is because the poor often have to con-
course, during which we looked at: vert their assets, including basic posses-
the context of microfinance for the sions, into cash in order to provide food or
rural poor; other basic daily needs. So, when cash
comes into a household, it may well be
organizing the unorganised for spent on survival needs rather than business
microfinance; development. Therefore, a loan applicant’s
organizational models for upscaling family circumstances must be assessed
microfinance; before microcredit is provided. Then, where
appropriate, credit can be provided, and
upscaling microfinance programmes; sometimes the terms of a loan can cover a
Used by permission from Microcredit: Sound Business or
microfinance and poverty reduction; combination of various expenditure items Development Instrument by Gert van Maanen (p.55, see also
including consumption/income genera- Books and publications, p.21)
microfinance and livelihood tion/entrepreneur loans/agriculture/general
promotion; purpose loans (e.g. for housing). Those at the top of the pyramid receive
bigger loans, and those at the base benefit
information technology for
microfinance. Savings from smaller loans.
The workshop examined the provision by
MFIs of savings schemes. Savings can be When focusing on the rural poor, micro-
“Upscaling” in this context means reaching
especially helpful to the poor because it credit needs to promote a progression
large numbers of people by providing
helps them deal with expenditure over a from:
more high quality products, and doing so
over a wider geographical area more period of time, and to draw on past income survival activity to enterprise activity;
quickly, more equitably, and on a long or against future earnings, particularly if
current income is low or non-existent. poverty lending to enterprise lending;
lasting basis. There is a serious need for
upscaling microfinance because huge consumption capital to working
numbers of poor people around the world Follow up capital;
who need microcredit have still to be When I returned to ECLOF Sri Lanka, I
made various suggestions to my col- microfinance to development finance.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
Learning in Ghana
Finance ECLOF International to ensure that the
results of the training had maximum effect:
An ECLOF financial training workshop for follow up on the implementation of
managers, finance officers what has been learnt by individual
Financial training workshop participants.
and credit officers took course participants at the institutional
place in Accra, Ghana, at level, and monitor the impact of the
provide regular learning opportunities
the end of 2004. Ben R. N. training;
for all staff in the fast-growing and
Mbai from MNA Business
encourage participants to pass on their dynamic world of microfinance;
Advisory Services in Nairobi,
knowledge to other ECLOF colleagues;
Kenya, led the workshop. This design a structured training
was the second time that Mr Mbai has pro- evaluate training needs through a programme that will become part of
vided training for ECLOF staff. structured process; ECLOF’s institutional development.
India already had a plan in place for
Participants from seven African national
ECLOF committees attended the workshop Feedback increasing overall income and
together with ECLOF staff from the decreasing expenditure.
Philippines and India, as well as ECLOF All ECLOF staff who took part in the
International’s financial manager, Nejib financial workshop in Ghana Lindsay also believed that ECLOF India’s
Ababor. completed a feedback loan processing and lending methodology,
questionnaire. In his which is somewhat time consuming at the
Participants said they had found the one- answers, Lindsay moment, could be simplified. He added
week course very relevant to their work Sathyanesan from that he had benefited from hearing from
and that they would apply the skills ECLOF India said that as a other ECLOF colleagues at the workshop
learned immediately. result of what he had learnt about innovative and demand-based
during the workshop he believed ECLOF products that had been introduced in
At the end of the workshop, Mr Mbai India could now better address the issue countries such as Kenya, the Philippines
made a number of recommendations to of “delinquent loans”, though ECLOF and Zimbabwe.
ECLOF Ghana board members attended a one-day training course on the role
1 10 2 3 7 11
of the board and the responsibilities of members. This event took place after the
4 5 9
financial training workshop.
There are 15 members on the ECLOF Ghana board; nine are women. Six
church organisations are represented on the board. In addition, there are
three representatives from the Christian Council of Ghana, and six members
from non-governmental organizations linked to microfinance and women’s
ECLOF Ghana board members include: development organizations. The outreach possible as a result of all the
1. Anna B. Nettey, 2. Jervis Djokoto, 3. Albert Essamuah, 4. Celeste Krahene
Williams, 5. Florence Kyei-Kwakye, 6. Seth Appeadu Mensah (President),
training that took place in Ghana was therefore multiplied because partners,
7. Clara Fosu, 8. Beatrice Bernice Boateng, 9. Gladys A. Brobbey. as well as ECLOF staff, were able to benefit and will in turn be able to pass
Also in photo: 10. Ben Mbai (consultant), 11. Nejib Ababor (ECLOF on their newly-acquired knowledge to their own organizations.
Dealing with delinquency: the Zambian way sible the high quality training and capacity
building of group members and officials.
Jane Ogutu, head of ECLOF Kenya’s exchange learning experiences that AFRAC On her visit to the trust, Jane Ogutu heard
(KECLOF) branch office in the town of Meru, facilitates each year. how it has also tackled the problem of
has learnt how one microfinance institution delinquency rates through the use of a par-
(MFI) in Zambia is bringing down its level of Jane visited the Micro Bankers Trust that ticipatory approach in the appraisal of loan
arrears, a process known in the microfi- was formed in 1996 to act as a channel applicants. The trust requires that savings be
nance world as “delinquency management”. through which the Zambian government provided as collateral, and retains 20% of a
could lend to MFIs. The trust has achieved group’s savings to offset possible loan
The African Rural and Agricultural Credit some level of success in delinquency man- defaulting. Borrowers have to pledge items,
Association (AFRAC), of which KECLOF is agement, thanks to the positive partner- and the trust takes possession of these if
a member, organized and part-financed ships it has formed with the solidarity repayments are not made. The trust has
Jane Ogutu’s capacity building visit to groups and their members to whom loans found that thorough and regular monitoring
Zambia, which was one of a number of are made. This relationship has made pos- of clients helps keep defaulting rates down.
JUNE 2005 ISSUE 33
The Ecumenical Church Loan Fund (ECLOF) is an ecumenical lending institution.
As a matter of policy, the ECLOF Secretariat in Geneva does not process loan
applications or projects directly from applicants but works through National
ECLOF Committees (NECs). If you wish, you may contact our Committee in
How can I share and help through ECLOF?
You, your church or your organization can send general or designated contributions to ECLOF in Geneva.
You can make a contribution towards a specific country where ECLOF is operating.
You can offer complementary support (training, equipment, fund-raising, additional credit, etc).
You can invite an ECLOF member to make a presentation to your church or organization.
You can tell others about ECLOF.
You can request further information about the work of ECLOF and make sure you are on the mailing list to
receive New Horizons.
Giving to ECLOF
ECLOF invites your support, and all contributions to any of the bank accounts listed below will be greatly appreciated.
For those who qualify, it is now possible to make tax-deductible contributions to ECLOF in Germany, Switzerland and the USA.
Tax deductible donations in Germany may be sent to: ECLOF International has tax exemption status according to Swiss tax
Stiftung Ökumene/ECLOF law (art. 56), which says that all donations made to organizations of
Frankfurter Sparkasse social or public entity and legally based in Switzerland are tax
Bank number: BLZ 500.502.01 exempted under the condition that donations amount to a minimum of
Account No: 100.008 CHF100 during the fiscal year.
ECLOF International bank accounts
USA Lombard Odier Union de Banques Suisses
ECLOF USA has exemption status from federal income tax as Darier Hentsch & Cie Petit-Saconnex Branch
an organization described under section 501(c)(3) of the rue de la Corraterie 11 1211 Geneva 2
Internal Revenue Code. 1211 Geneva 11 Switzerland
Switzerland Account No: 620 894 L
ECLOF USA bank account Beneficiary: ECLOF Swiss franc account
TCF National Bank, 801 Marquette Avenue Account No: 01-121477 Account No: 620 894 60 G
Minneapolis, MN 55402 SWIFT: LOCYCHGG US dollar account
Beneficiary: ECLOF USA, Inc.
Account No: 4866277185 In favour of ECLOF for both accounts
If you wish to receive New Horizons regularly please let us know.
ECLOF International contact address New Horizons is published by the Ecumenical Church Loan Fund and
Director Phone: +41 22 791 63 12 distributed free of charge to the ECLOF constituency and all interested people
ECLOF Fax: +41 22 710 20 05 upon notification.
P.O. Box 2100 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1211 Geneva 2 Web site: www.eclof.org New Horizons appears in English and Spanish.
Switzerland The views in New Horizons do not necessarily reflect the views of ECLOF.
New Horizons is available on ECLOF’s web site – www.eclof.org – in English,
New French, German and Spanish.
Writing and editorial consultants: Printed in Switzerland
HORIZONS John and Bridget Newbury
Designer: Paul Coyle