Doba : About 11,000 rural women in Doba improve their life conditions

A saving and Internal lending project initiated by the Catholic relief and Development NGO Bleach Caritas Doab in the Southern Chad, made a tremendous change in life conditions of women and their families members these three years. The project has actually started in 2015 with an initial funding from the Catholic Relief Services in Chad aims at meeting the need of most vulnerable people in the 12 dioceses of Doba. The second phase ended last year. The 12-month extension of the project is closing this coming September 30th. par Djimte G. Salomon (Presse), le 8/9/2017 9:45:16 PM

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« Our goal is to help 6468 women of the Doba Diocese through access and commitment in 294 groups of Saving and Internal lending and Financial Education. We are beyond our initial target. We got 477 groups instead of the planned 294. Even the number of the group members has increased, and men have joined those groups initially set up by women. For us in Belacd Caritas, the experience is fabulous because we were looking on ways to address the poverty that hit this region since the oil exploitation » explains Nanglem Ngamardé Singangar, the Belacd Caritas Doba’s Director
The Savings and Internal Lending Community (SILC), is totally financed by community members themselves. After paying the membership fees, registered members commit themselves to save a weekly amount of at least two dollars and some solidarity cents for social happenings that may affect a member. The money is kept in a locked with keys kept by three different people. Once the cash is closed at the end of a meeting, it will be open again at the next meeting and in front of all the members. Later, members can borrow the money during a meeting and pay it back as soon as possible. In 2015, the project recorded a total of 10722 people with 8470 women and 2252 men scattered in 477 groups. The project that was initially oriented towards women has attracted men who joined these groups, because of the results.
In 2015, Belacd Caritas Doba has received FCFA 79. 612.960 from the Catholic Relief Service for the 10-month project which ended in September 2016. The money was used to run the office in Doba for overseeing the project, recruit staff, train field workers and equip the different agents with bicycles. No single penny has been given to any of the groups set up by the project but after a year of activities, a total of CFA franc 11 416 475 have been saved and CFA 72 606 950 of loans given. Through weekly subscription, loans reimbursement and paid fines, a total of CFA 147 209 050 have been mobilized by the 477 groups.
For Mingueyam Ainan Mariette, the SILC project Manager of Belacd/Caritas Doba the project is really making a difference in the communities.
« It is very interesting to see men and women discussing on equal basis in a meeting in a rural setting. That never happened in the past because men always consider their wives and women in general as second zone people. SILC has given economic power to women because their contributions are making a difference in the life of their children and even husbands”, explains Mrs. Mingueyam. “Some men who were against their wife’s participation to the project at the beginning, have become full members themselves now” she said joyfully.
Since the project inception, more women are taking the leading responsibility in their families. They are able to own a piece of land to build a house or for farming purposes. They are also able to buy their own cows, sheep and goats for a small animal husbandry. Their households are now able to have twice a meal in a day or pay school and medical fees for their children on time.
To make the project relevant to the community, 48 field agents have been trained in SILC methodology and financial Education and then given a bicycle for their supervision action. Each of them takes care of 8 to 10 groups who pay him in return a monthly stipend of FCFA 10800 to 18900 (about 30 USD). All are community members who reside in the village. The goal is to provide local people with the needed capacity to continue the project when the project ends. It is also a bridge that connects different faiths and cultural beliefs in the region
« We operate in parishes because we needed solid structures to build on, but our action goes to people of different religion and social backgrounds. Poverty does not have religion. We assist men and women striving to make a living without consideration to their religious background » Nanglem Singangar, the Belacd Caritas Doba’s Director.
The project was financed again by CRS for a period of 12-month last year and ends this September.
“The result is incredible this year”, Mrs. Mingué says, “we have now 609 groups with a total of 13 895 members. There are 10 895 women in these groups. Again, we received from our partner the Catholic Relief Service cfa 27 529 393 for another 12 month project. As per today the groups have already mobilized CFA 274, 965, 825” she concludes.
The CRS funded SILC project ends within a month period yet the Belacd Caritas Doba is desperately in need to continue the wonderful experience made by SILC where poverty boundaries have been pushed a bit away from the communities of Doba.
If no assistance is found at the end of next month, SILC will be over and the aftermath effects of oil exploitation will engulf the little light lit by CRS and Caritas Belacd Doba.
Is there anybody out there to bring smile back to those thousands brave women and their children that are fighting for their survival in the so called “oil regions of Doba”?

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