TVT is aware of the fact many projects have been started with similar objectives but their real impact on the lives of the beneficiaries remains to be seen. In order to ensure that projects undertaken by TVT have positive impact on their clients, appropriate strategies have been adapted, and will continue to be reviewed from time to time to ensure continued relevance.
a). The Empowerment of Rural Village Women Groups
Dependency is not empowering. From the outset, Village Trust has adopted an holistic approach by providing funding and support to any village enterprise that is economically viable. TVT ensures that the selected village women and youth are committed to the fund and are ready to take charge. The village women groups are involved in identifying literate community volunteers to teach them to read and write. This self-reliance creates a sense of liberation and instills ownership of their self-help group, their money, and their future. It also increases their status in the eyes of their families and communities and gives more choice to their families’ demands. The women groups are fully involving in all activities such as:
- Designing and developing of business plans, setting up effective and efficient monitoring systems and periodic evaluations
- Establishment of clear credit policies and procedures for managing the trust in order to ensure that loan repayments are made within the agreed timeframe.
- Providing peer training in financial management, business diversification, marketing and saving options.
b). Decentralization and local control
In contrast to the traditional micro-finance approach, TVT encourages women and youth to fully take charge of the operations of their groups, ranging from their own bank accounts to investment proposals. Even small groups are encouraged to be dependent on their own skills and expertise with TVT playing more of an advisory role and offering training on capacity building in order to strengthen monitoring and reporting of the activities of the groups.
c). Appreciative Approach
Operations supported TVT have succeeded mainly because the beneficiaries are encouraged to recognize, appreciate and celebrate their own efforts. TVT ensures that efforts of every group is supported by promoting the tradition of celebrating the women’s strengths and accomplishments, rather than focusing on processes and problems. An award system has been introduced to recognize various categories of successes and as groups look at their past successes, often achieved with meager resources, they normally take pride in what they have done, and realize there is no limit to their determination to combat poverty, hunger, diseases and illiteracy.