Even as India and Cambodia continue to record impressive growth rates, poverty remains widespread. Many families depend upon the income from their children’s labour in order to cater for the household basic needs at the cost of the children’s well-being.
Financial inclusion of the poor is a big challenge worldwide, especially for those being excluded from society or living in rural areas were communications are very poor. Such an issue can be addressed through livelihood programmes through a range of economic activities and services that will improve the skills and reduce the vulnerability of the poor.
Empowering women is one of CAF’s key objectives. Women and girls play an important role in the fight against poverty as they bear the responsibility of many aspects of our society. On many occasions, women we have supported managed to achieve success for the sake of their children.
The programme aims at encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit and skills of vulnerables families. In other words, CAF assists those families, especially women-headed households, to set up a small business that will generate regular sustainable income, thus allowing children to pursue their education.
The programme targets those families possessing or motivated to develop the skills required to run a micro-enterprise. In case a family in need does not fit the profile to run a successful micro-business, the 1-2-1 Child Sponsoring might be more suited to support directly children’s education.
A) selection of the beneficiaries
Our partners are responsible for the primary screening of the families depending on their background and needs, their entrepreneurial profile (skills (or capacity to get those skills)/experience in the business) and their motivation. The family will propose the type of business activity they would like to engage in and show commitment towards it.
Priority will be given to discriminated members of a community due to health conditions, social status or cultural beliefs.
B) Personalized guidance in business proposal
The partners will counsel the family regarding the choice of micro-business according to their background, skills and experience. They will evaluate the potential sustainability and profitability of the micro-business and they will provide information and guidance on insurance policies and training programmes, if necessary.
Positive consideration will be given to business proposals that are part of a broader collective project (e.g. various women working together on a tailoring business).
C) Sponsoring through local self-help organisations
Once the families have been selected as part of FMB programme, they will receive money through a local micro-credit organisation. In India, Cuddalore, CAF works with the Udhayam Women Federation composed of women who meet every month to manage their loans and savings.
How is the money transferred / How does the sponsor money circulate?
The FMB programme is based on a ONE shot grant from the sponsor that will be given to the beneficiary through the relevant self-help organisation. In the case of our support through the Udhayam Women Federation in India, the lump sum has been of 350€.
This has enabled:
– the beneficiary to invest in order to start up his/her micro-business
– the women federation to expand/develop its activities of credit and savings association and that of self-help group.
There will be regular follow-ups on the development of the project along with advise and guidance from the local partner. As part of the monitoring process, and since the end objective is to ensure a good future for the children, the beneficiary family provides information not only on the progress and status of the micro-business but also on the children’s education and well-being.
As part of the sponsorship programme, CAF will endeavour to ensure regular communication with the sponsors on the progress of the micro-business and on the education and welfare of the children.