Grameen Trust launched the People’s Fund in March 1995, in an effort to raise US$100 million to support Grameen replication projects worldwide. David Ellis was the first person who contributed US$ 100 to the Peoples Fund. So far, the Fund stands at US$ 162,798, with the Grameen Foundation USA, playing a major part in the fund-raising effort. Grameen Foundation, Australia is also mobilizing contributions for the People’s Fund.
With the support of this fund, Grameen Microcredit has approved a total of US$ 145,000 as onlending funds to five projects in Uganda, Bangladesh and Tanzania.
Micro Credit Development Trust (MCDT), Uganda, is the first recipient of the People’s Fund in the form of a US$50,000 soft loan to capitalize their loan portfolio and increase their member base. MCDT now operates as a limited company and a non-government organization in four districts in Uganda i.e. Kampala, Masala, Luwero and Tororo. Over the years since its inception, MCDT has grown to over 4,796 members, disbursed US$ 932,360 in loans, with a repayment rate of 98% and mobilized US$ 67,751 in member savings till June ’03.
Integrated Development Foundation, Bangladesh, was set up with the aim to help those who have been historically marginalised – indigenous tribal population of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). IDF is working in geographically and socially challenging conditions in CHT. IDF’s task is more difficult than that of many other microcredit operations. GT has approved a total of US$ 40,000 to IDF for its Mohora branch from this Fund. Till July 2003, IDF has created a significant and sustained impact on the lives of 36,028 members to whom they have so far disbursed US$ 12,549,966 and mobilized US$ 1,046,891 in savings through 29 branches. IDF has attained 126% operational self sufficiency.
Dustha Shasthya Kendra (DSK) in Bangladesh, began its work in 1989, with a commitment to address the various socio-economic problems of the vulnerable groups in society. Women are its main beneficiaries. GT has approved a total of US$ 25,000 to its Rupsha branch from People’s Fund. DSK is now active in six districts of Bangladesh, with an outreach of over 42,664 members and a total disbursement of US$ 11,246,562. DSK has attained 153% operational self sufficiency.
Concerned Women For Family Development (CWFD) also in Bangladesh, was founded in 1976, with the objective of improving the quality of life of women. CWFD now has 5 branches. From this Fund GT has approved US$ 25,000 to CWFD for the expansion of its credit program in Chittagong branch. CWFD has reached a total of 5,807 members with a total loan disbursement of US$ 1,030,276. The project has already attained operational self sufficiency.
Jecy Development Trust Fund (JECY) in Tanzania was registered as a Trust Fund in 1997, with the objective of alleviating poverty through provision of financial services to poor households, especially women and people with physical disability. GT has approved US$ 5,000 to JECY from this Fund to expand its credit program. JECY started its credit program in Segerea, Chanika, Gongolamboto and Kisarawe villages in the coastal region of Dar Es Salam, Tanzania. JECY has now 537 members, with a total disbursement of US$ 152,061.
GT believes that with the support from People’s Fund it will proceed steadily towards its vision of eradicating poverty and changing the lives of the poorest. In this pioneering spirit, Grameen encourages people to contribute to the Fund, because with each contribution made, the life of at least one family is changed for the better.
To contribute to the People's Fund, please send your cheques in favour of GRAMEEN TRUST,Grameen Bank Bhaban, Mirpur-2, Dhaka 1216, Bangladesh, E-mail: [email protected], or [email protected]. If you are in the USA, you may send your tax deductible contributions to the Grameen Foundation USA, 1029 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20005 USA, Tel (202) 628-3560/Fax (202) 628- 3880, Web site: www.gfusa.org E-mail: [email protected]
Tasmina Rahman, Grameen Trust.