Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

28 November 2012

Tanzania: NGO Helps Rural Dwellers Get Loans

PLAN International plans to spend 40 million US dollars (about 64bn/-) in poorest and remotest regions with a view to assist rural dwellers to access loans, a top of official of the organisation said.

Plan's Chief Executive Officer, Mr Nigel Chapman said in Dar es Salaam that part of the funds would support Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) in the next three years.

He said the organisation has so far spent 100 million US dollars (about 160bn/-) in development projects across the country in the past two decades. "The loans access from VSLA are expected to shore-up agricultural productivity and help them venture into small business enterprises, among other projects", he said.

Currently, he said, there are more than 4,000 VSLA groups that have been established across the country with more than 80,000 members.

"Majority of them are women and this project has proved to be very popular in the country because the loans are cheap among the rural communities," Mr Chapman said during a media briefing media ahead of his board's week-long tour of Plan's projects in the country.

Plan International, a global children's charity, has been working in the country in the past 20 years supporting under-privileged children and poor communities gain access to health, education, clean water and sanitation.

"To date, nearly 1.6 million have benefited from our programmes," the CEO said. He said Plan International was also involving children in VSLAs to inculcate a culture of saving among them and youth.

The number of savings clubs run by children had grown to 300 as 9,000 children in Tanzania are currently involved in these schemes. "The involvement of children in VSLA is helping instill a savings culture among children and youth as they learn about money management at an early stage in life," he said.

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