How does it work?
We want to build a fund that means we are less reliant on international donors. We will organise it as follows:
1. We will identify the communities that are most in need, but who also have a strong desire to develop. Our selection criteria will include the percentage of vulnerable groups in the village, whether any other NGOs are present in the village, and the willingness of leaders and villagers to collaborate and commit to working with us.
2. The communities will be given a loan, usually of around
$US 5,000 (£3,050), depending on need and the size of the community. This need is assessed by a NAS project worker.
3. We help the community to set up a group which is responsible for the management of loans. Our Project Officers provide training in book keeping and financial management, and closely monitor progress, visiting frequently.
4. The community group distributes loans to individuals who use them to set up small businesses or to strengthen existing enterprises. These might include; raising chickens, fruit and vegetable growing, starting a shop or buying agricultural inputs or equipment. Loans are usually around $100 per person/business.
5. The loans are paid back at a 2% rate of interest, much lower than local lenders who can ask for rates of 20% or more. 1% will be retained by NAS and will eventually be used to fund the salary of the Project Worker. In the mean time it will fund their fuel and expenses. 1% is given to the community for capital projects, such as building a clean water supply.
6. Once paid back completely, the loan is put back into the NAS central fund, and a new community is identified as beneficiary of the loan.
SMALL CHANGE, BIG DIFFERENCE
As a local organisation, we care passionately about the communities that we work with. We also want them to help themselves and for our work to have a long term impact.
Ours is a "bottom up" and sustainable approach. We do not tell the communities what they need, we let them decide and through education, support and financial assistance, give them the tools to build a better future.
At NAS, our dream is also to become less reliant on outside organisations for funds, so with these two objectives in mind, we have created a new campaign.
We are asking for a small amount of help from a lot of people, and with this help, will make a large and lasting change to people's lives.
We are calling our campaign Small Change, Big Difference and you can help.
WATCH OUR SHORT CLIP ABOUT
SMALL CHANGE, BIG DIFFERENCE
How is this different?
There are so many charities doing great work, and we know that it is impossible to help them all. We believe we are different because:
1. We are already proving that we care about what we are doing by putting our personal time and money into the scheme. In addition to giving working hours, our staff are encouraged to donate from their salary every month.
2. We are trying to help our own community, so we understand the people, the need and how to go about making a change. We have tested a similar scheme already and it works.
3. The scheme is sustainable and has the capacity to grow – if we can raise the funds, the project will sustain itself and once it is self-sustaining the loans can be re-invested perpetually, with potential to help thousands of people.
4. Because education is integral to the scheme, the loans we give come hand in hand with training – our Project Officers will identify education needs and can also signpost communities towards other help, such as healthcare assistance.
5. It is self regulating - the loan is guaranteed by the group therefore they make sure it is paid on time.
Our aim is to raise $US 350,000 (£213,077). This will help 70 communities of between 50 and 100 people and help pay for a full time Project Officer.
We plan to do this one village at a time and so our initial target is $US 5,000, or £3,050.