Welcome to CCA’s international development blog page devoted to the Uganda/Malawi Coaching program. Enjoy the sights and sounds, the people and places as experienced by 3 credit union volunteers on the frontline of development.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Brad visits DWASCO SACCO

The first night in the Ngala Beach Lodge was good. I slept most of the night which for me was good because last year I think I only averaged 4 to 5 hours of sleep per night the whole time I was over here. Davison arrived in the morning to pick us up to go to the SACCO and when we got there he introduced us to the staff. We were given a working area in the Board Room and policies to read to help us understand the SACCO we are here to help.

After lunch we met with Davison, the DWASCO SACCO is a closed bond SACCO for the employees of the Lloyd Sugar Company out of South Africa. They have 4,255 members and of that 3,800 are men and 455 are women. One of the main issues for the SACCO is their lack of liquidity to fund member requests and they are looking at ways to raise either shares or deposits. They are talking to other related companies to have access to more potential members and they will be tentatively converting to the new banking system in June of this year that has cost this SACCO MK 3,500,000.

This SACCO is innovative in their approach to non interest income -- they sell paraffin for cooking, cell phone cards (Zane and TNM) and they also sell empty sacks for maize to their members. Since Davison has been Manager they have been named "SACCO of the Year" three times and Davison was named Manager of the year for District two.

Once the meeting was completed Davison took us on a tour of the compound within the Plantation where he showed us the first SACCO office which was one room and had four employees. We walked through the local market and past people's houses and to the church compound. They call it the church compound because they have all denominations from Muslim to Jehovah's Witness to Catholic. Davison stated that there are no religious issues other than each congregation trying to convert others to their religion and one church trying to sing louder than the church beside them.

That finished our first day at the SACCO.

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