Parents whose children are former street children are urged to improve the operations of “Kwigira” informal saving groups to which they are members.
This was requested by Father Donatien Twizeyumuremyi, director of Caritas Kigali, in a meeting with those parents. The meeting was aiming at examining the operations of “Kwigira” informal saving groups to improve the wellbeing of their members.
During their discussions, Father Twizeyumuremyi was assessing whether Kwigira groups are contributing to the development of those parents.
Ibimina operate on the basis of contributions by their members mainly from the same village. Their activities, including lending money to members, rely on mutual trust between them and they do not lend money to non-members and each gets loans according to their contributions.
After realizing that some of those groups are not operating properly, Father Twizeyumuremyi urged them to make an improvement by well-paying back borrowed loans and build mutual trust.
It is Caritas Switzerland which provide funds to support families whose children get support from Caritas Kigali’s Abadacogora-Intwari center, to ensure that every child gets his basic needs satisfied in his family.
The total number of parents who benefit from this fund is 784, each of them getting 48.100Rwf. But some parents fear to borrow while some of those who borrow do not use their loan appropriately. Some spend the money in leisure whereas it was designed to start businesses to develop the borrower.
During the meeting the following decisions were taken:
After sharing ideas the meeting took the following decisions:
- Since now loans will be granted to “Kwigira” members taking into account not only the way each member pays back the money they borrowed, but also the fact that the group as whole paid back the money that was offered to it. But the group’s activities will continue with follow up to members who do not pay back their loans appropriately.
- The groups’ committee members will have to follow each member and provide report detailing each member status. In case of any challenge they will have to consult Caritas Kigali staff to help them handle the situation.
- The interests of loans offered to group members shall become one of the group’s possessions. All the loan interests must not be directed to Caritas Kigali as long as group members have paid back their loans appropriately.
- The meeting with street traders who do not have a known address must be held in order to help them to own places in markets to stop street trade, as it goes against the policy of the government of Rwanda which wants to put an end to street trade.
- Before granting loan, the committee will first assess whether the borrower has a known address in any market.
- There is a plan of to categorize group members basing on the way they use appropriately their loans to develop themselves, and the way they pay back their loans.
They will be grouped into three categories:
- The first category of members who use their loans appropriately, develop themselves and pay back their loans.
- The second category of those who try their best to develop themselves and face challenges which prevent them to get enough profits that would enable them to pay back their loans
- The third category of members who misuse their loans at the instance that they couldn’t develop themselves. This categorization will be done by the groups’ committees with the support of Caritas Kigali’s staff. They will have to define criteria to consider while categorizing group members. It must not go beyond September.
The categorization aim at the following:
- Group members in the first category will be granted the loan and only pay back 50% of the loan while the remaining 50% will be left to them as free capital.
- Group members in the second category will be paying back 75% of their loan and remain with 25% as free capital. As they will be improving to qualify for the first category, they will be offered opportunities like members of the first category.
- Group members in the third category will be approached to give them more trainings for them to understand that they have to use their loans appropriately to develop themselves.
- Caritas Kigali will link group members who are supported by Abadacogora-Intwari Center with other beneficiaries of Caritas Kigali’s project of vegetables farming. This will help farmers to wholesale their vegetable to to group members on reasonable price.
- Caritas Kigali is about to start thinking about launching a well-known market for all those traders
The Director of Caritas Kigali, Father Donatien Twizeyumuremyi concluded saying that when Caritas Kigali supports vulnerable people, it aims at seeing them develop themselves, visit people with problems, and urge those who developed themselves to fulfil their responsibilities of feeding children, paying health insurance contributions, paying school fees for children, etc.
Caritas Kigali’s vision is to see vulnerable people developing themselves and becoming valued people.