DAY 8, NOVEMBER 4, 2007
Today we celebrate our first week on the Path, a week dedicated to discovering and learning from innovative cases in microfinance in Peru and also to discovering and getting to know our fellow participants, learning from each one about their institutions, work focus, countries, and cultures.
This morning, in the salon of the Hotel Plaza in La Paz, we began with the synthesis workshop of two case studies, the Puno – Cusco Corridor Project and the Los Andes Rural Savings and Credit Union--both relating to rural savings—the secretaries Li Qi and Carlos Cáceres presenting their strengths and weaknesses, and formulating recommendations.
Carlos Rodriguez then presented “The Bolivian stage of the Path: Rural micro financial services. History, challenges and innovations”.
Diego Blanco, Technical Administrator of Zurich Bolivia spoke on micro insurance and Raúl Angulo, Coordinator of Marketing for WOCCU (World Council of Credit Unions) presented Servired WOCCU in Bolivia.
In the afternoon we caught a flight to Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
Puno – Cusco Corridor Project and the Los Andes Rural Savings and Credit Union
Carlos Cáceres (Colombia)
“The program is focused on savings and not on credit, which makes it an innovation. At its core is financial education, which permits efficiently the creation of groups of savers, in an environment of confidence and solidarity, fomenting the desire to grow as persons and productive entities. We believe the project is efficient because the groups reduce the transaction costs even though the accounts are individual. Moreover, the institution uses a team of advisors that are very close to the community, who visit them permanently so that any question or doubt can be answered in their own language, increasing the confidence between the women and the institution.”
The use of clear incentives to save, is a tool which creates immediate capital and greater confidence, as the women see in a tangible way that the promise is fulfilled, the benefits are real and palpable.”
Li Qi (China)
“It is important that this program is repeated and is sustained in the future, either through the reinvestment of part of the Credit Union’s profits, or through alliances with the government or entities of international cooperation. One positive consequence of the program is that the women’s role is strengthened, given that they are self-motivated and that their enhanced self esteem and social inclusion permits that in the future they will have improved access to financial services which will allow them to generate more income and improve their quality of life”.