A man curing leather to make leatherwear for the market.
This man received a small loan to raise cattle. His idea was to use all aspects - milk, meet, hides and even making glue.
Raising cattle doesn't make a profit in a week or so but we adjusted his repayment-plan so that he could realise his income-generating activities.
This man can now provide for his family, put his children to school instead of making them daylabour and has a market stall of his own.
His next move will be to extend his business, create jobs and even renovate his house.
ARIF will help him with that as we help many others to realise what they never thought possible.
This is the system
We have various programs for loantakers, however our priority are men and women who are normally financially excluded due to lack of collateral and/or personal IDs. We therefor encourage self-help groups to join, where the group itself will act as collateral. We also encourage farmers to join, this is explained in the page "farmers special".
When people announce their interest in joining ARIF and after having registered, we call a meeting. In this meeting we will explain our model and open up for questions and suggestions.
These meetings will be held on a regular basis and newcomers will always be welcome.
The groups can discuss business plans and payment schemes together outside ARIF and together decide if the group or an individual in the group shall request for a loan. It is beneficial if the group points out a spokesperson. The group may then keep track on each other, help each other and support each other in times of difficulties. Very important is also that the group will make sure that any group member follows his/her contact with ARIF. If a group member falls short it may slow down the process for the group as a whole.
Once we have agreed that a business plan is sustainable, we will sign a binding contract between ARIF and the loantaker, stating the amount of the loan, the interest rate, the individual payment plan etc. The loan taker also agrees to parteke in the training provided, if needed, and to transparency. Transparency is necessary for us to keep track and step in at any given point to help out if things are not going to plan. At this stage we will also hand out accounts books so that the loan taker can keep track of future transaction at the same time as we keep track.
The instalments and the interest rate of the individual loans according to plan, will either be paid at the regular meetings or directly to our office. ARIF as well as the loantaker will note this duly in the books provided. ARIF has a computerised system to record all loantakers and all transactions.
Once a loan is repaid in full and the entrepreneur has reached a set goal for his/her business, discussions for a slightly bigger loan for expanding that business can start. This procedure may repeat. For children of loan takers with a proven record, we also extend the possibility of taking an interest free sustenance loan for higher education.
Our system follows the Grameen approach, but is adjusted to the reality in rural Cameroon.