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.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Charlie - A Visit to the EBO SACCO

As I write this blog its early Monday morning March 1….electricity at the hotel has been off more than on this weekend. Here’s a few pics from the last 3 days (including our second SACCO - EBO SACCO. A very well run operation. Bye for now. Charlie.
Brad - Final DWASCO SACCO Meeting

Our time in Dwangwa has been great but with all the rain and the road conditions Davison could not take us to some of the places he wanted us to visit so we spent all our time at the Plantation. Oh well when it is the rainy season I guess you should expect a little rain. However we did get to visit the Ethanol Plant today and received a tour with a full explanation of their processes. It was a very interesting tour and the reason the Ethanol Plant is in Dwangwa is because of the Sugar Factory since they use the Sugar Factory's waste mash for their process.

We stopped at the Standard Bank so Bruce could cash in some travelers cheques, while waiting for him (it took 45 minutes) Davison introduced me to the Chairman of the Supervisory Committee for the SACCO. Davison and I also went into the FMB Bank they wanted me to open an account and they were going to pay six percent on the savings account, that is less than the ten percent the SACCO pays.

On Friday February 26th we had our final meeting with the Board of Directors of DWASCO Employees SACCO. We started off the meeting with an opening prayer which is one of their traditions. Bruce and I gave our presentation with Bruce starting off reviewing the progress from last year and me reviewing the new issues that have come up at the SACCO. The SACCO is well run but they have their challenges especially with liquidity, they have a large loan demand and limited ways to raise deposits to fund them. After we completed the presentation we answered questions and discussed issues with the Board Members.  We enjoyed an evening of fellowship with the management and board of the SACCO. They were great hosts and we had lively conversations throughout the evening.

Robert - First Day at MBC SACCO

We spent our first day at the MBC (Malawian Broadcasting Corporation) SACCO today. We were greeted by Abigail – the MBC SACCO General Manager.  Unlike the Sunbird SACCO, the MBC SACCO is a common (or open) bond SACCO, meaning that it welcomes more than just members from a single institution. 

Abigail had participated in the CCA Women's Mentorship Program, which gave her an opportunity to visit Canada. She stayed in Manning, Alberta with her host at Horizon Credit Union. She also got to travel to Peace River. I told her that I felt sorry for her, having to travel hours upon hours to get to Northern Alberta! Haha! She did have to travel a very long distance to get there (Blantyre to Lilongwe to London to Ottawa to Calgary to Edmonton to Manning = MANY HOURS!!!) but she said it was worth it! She had a great time and really enjoyed the snow.
Henock (the Sunbird SACCO manager) picked us up this morning (Saturday) and we travelled to see the tea plantations near Tholyo (prounounced "cho-roh"). It was incredible to see the vast tea orchards. I took some photos, but the battery in my camera died half way through the trip, so I missed out on some.

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