Microfinance - Building authentic relationships

Viti first met Kira Kay whilst particpating in the Leadership WA programme in 2009. Kira was raised in the Wheatbelt area and now resides in Germany. She continues to visit and raise funds internationally for the expanding projects this small non government organisation develop such as: solar power and the Annapurna Orphanage Vision.

Kira's 'Grass Roots Leadership' presentation back in 2009 focused on the importance of developing self-sustaining individual and community projects. Shared efforts by Kira, Dipendra K.C and various friends have established a small Co-operative Bank, Nava Udaya P.Ltd in Kathmandu.

Viti's current social impact studies and her interest in contributing to social business endeavours aligns with HwH's philosophy: "...individuals who pursue opportunties to create pattern-breaking change to benefit others..."

The opporunity to link to this organisation arose in January/February 2011 when Viti left the group she was travelling with in India and flew to Kathmandu independently. She met those linked to the organisation and visited their Bank in Kathmandu who provide small loans to rural and urban women.

Viti then travelled to Pokhara in Chitwan Provence where the cooperative micro-finance projects are operating in 4 villages. Maintaining the integrity of all stakeholders whilst interviewing these village women linked to microfinance loans required a translator.

Crucial to this process was Shila (Co-ordinator) and the support of her husband Ram. They collectively helped design the questionnaire, provided motorbike/scooter transport, transcribed , provided cultural awareness and were very caring hosts. Shila coordinator Viti and Ramchandra.

Viti was inspired by the women she interviewed and seeing first hand the financial and social impacts from such opportunities was heartening and rewarding.

Some of the women Viti met are profiled and other types of enterprises included: purchasing stock, establish road side stalls, candle making, electrical repairs, accquiring materials to manufacture blessing boxes, goat studs, breeding pigs for sale, butcher and small goods shops, producing cement products, carpet weaving for European markets, creating employment opportunities for men and women in the villages.

Bashnu Maya goat stud, spices and candle making enterprises.

Fulmaya Kumal and husband cement products.

Ganu Lama partnership with husband carpet weaving , dog well products and buffalo enterprises.

What became evident during Viti's fieldwork was the support husbands provided for their wives endeavours. In some instances their husbands family land enabled particular enterprises that were linked to agriculture.

Motivating factors underpinning these microfinance endeavours are to provide: food and education for their children, develop assets, grow their businesses, savings, and gain self-confidence. In some instances these enterprises have enabled families to build new homes.

Viti will prepare a paper for this HwH's from her fieldwork experience for the organisation to use in the manner they wish.

Individually we can make a difference - Collectively we can create social change.