30 October 2009

HMF Working Group - Week 19: 26th - 30th October 2009

The week opened with promotional activity on Monday. Boaz, Hamida Mwanga (Credit Officer) and I put up MAKAZI BORA posters at shops in Mzinga and Makwata in the Tuangoma Ward. Tuangoma is one of the wards in Hamida's portfolio and demand has been relatively low compared to other parts of the MAKAZI BORA operating area. Unlike previous promotional activities at Kongowe, we did not attempt to collect information on hardware dealers where we placed posters. We simply put up the posters, distributed brochures and spoke to the dealers and potential customers. This made the work go much smoother. The very act of putting up posters and talking to people as we did so seemed to generate some "buzz" in the area about MAKAZI BORA.

Only a few loans were disbursed this week (less than 10). We had hoped to make 50 loan disbursements during the month of October, but will fall slightly short of that target. We had also hoped to recruit an additional credit officer from two credit officer candidates who were trained in early June. The additional credit officer would be assigned to expansion into the Yombo Vituka and Makangarawe Wards. Unfortunately, neither of the trained credit officer candidates accepted the assignment. Boaz is considering expanding into Makangarawe (population +/- 50,000) with an existing credit officer.

On Thursday evening, Boaz and I met with representatives from the Community Centre for Initiatives (CCI), WAT Human Settlements and the Tanzania Gatsby Trust (TGT). It was an informal meeting to discuss what each organization is doing in terms of housing microfinance. We all have slightly different approaches to housing and housing microfinance, but we have similar objectives and there is potential for collaboration, sharing and learning. We hope to develop into a housing microfinance working group in the future to promote and housing microfinance in Tanzania.

All of the organizations at our informal meeting had attended a housing microfinance conference in Dar es Salaam in May of 2008 and are in the process of implementing or preparing to implement housing microfinance programs. Again, it is always a pleasure to be able to informally discuss housing and housing microfinance with people and organizations that share a similar passion.


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