Concept and Justification of Funding with Trust
Funding with Trust is a unique funding system which provides financial assistance to women who are in extreme poverty and need help for their emergency and basic needs. Once these women reach a level of financial security, they are encouraged to give back to the system to help other women in need. Through this system of trust, funds are recirculated many times throughout the community, helping more women to eventually gain financial security. Thus, the concept of Funding with Trust is for the women, to the women, and by the women.”
A large number of women do not have access to small loans for their emergency and basic needs. The only choice they have is to go to the money lenders for a loan with an extremely high interest rate (120% or more per year). Most of the time they cannot pay back the principal and must keep on paying the interest for the rest of their lives. This problem is present in both urban and rural areas. A new initiative, Funding with Trust, is started to address this need. The concept is quite simple for the women to understand, and the operational method is not complicated. Everyone can understand its basic structure without going through much training and explanation. The main objective of Funding with Trust is to give a small amount of financial assistance to the women for their emergency and basic needs. As a result, they do not have to go to the money lenders to borrow money with high interest rates.
Through the Funding with Trust system, women can learn how to help themselves, help each other and work with trust to assist other women who are in distress. The purpose is not to make them rich, but to encourage them to be independent and to have the minimum necessities to live a decent life by working hard and taking responsibility for their own lives. The system opens the doors to have dreams for better life. Through the Funding with Trust system, women are empowered as entrepreneurs, as contributing members to their family and often as leader in their community.
Principles Of Funding with Trust
1. Aamara Biswas (AB) gives financial assistance only to women.
2. First, a meeting is conducted with the women who need financial assistance to discuss and explain the concept of Funding with Trust.
3. Women must understand the importance of the small financial assistance and how their donations to the system, after taking care of their own situations, is crucial for the sustainability of the program.
4. Women who receive funding (financial assistance) select a local coordinator to manage this project.
5. One woman can get financial assistance multiple times.
6. The coordinators get salaries depending on their work responsibilities.
7. Bookkeeping is in the local language in which the women and the coordinators are familiar.
8. AB encourages the women who receive financial assistance to donate some amount monthly, quarterly, or in any other manner, at their convenience; their donated money is recirculated by giving it to other women who are in need.
9. Women receive their financial assistance directly from the coordinators of AB. There is no involvement of a middle person in these financial transactions.
10. Every deserving woman gets the financial assistance. Due to limited funds, financial assistance is given based on the need and on a first come, first served basis.
11. The coordinator is the key person for the success of the project.
12. The Funding with Trust system thrives on trust. The women who receive help are responsible for the success of the project. It is their money and due to their generosity, that many more women will get help through the recirculation of the donated funds.