May 13, 2009, 6:55 AM
National Association of Cooperative Credit Unions of The Gambia (NACCUG) on
Friday ended a four-day training of trainers on financial literacy and
graduation micro finance.
The training held at Naccug head office along Bertil Harding Highway in Kanifing targeted 20 participants from credit unions in North Bank Region, Brikama and the Fonis. It was the second of such training for the same group; the first one was held last year.
Baboucarr Jeng, general manager of Naccug, said the training is a refresher course of the 20 trained last year.
“This refresher training gave Naccug the opportunity to re-train those who have been trained and also replace those trainers who have left for other jobs,” he said.
Mr Jeng explained that the focus of the training is to further develop the skills of the trainers on techniques to deliver financial literary and graduation microfinance trainings.
“After the training, their [the trainees] responsibility is to go back and deliver training packages to women groups in the provinces,” he said.
The training of trainers is part of a three-year project entitled ‘Improving Access to Pro-poor Financial Services in The Gambia’ that Naccug is implementing with the financial support of the Irish Aid through the Irish League of Credit Union Foundation.
The project, in the second year now, is geared towards improving the socio-economic status of Gambian people, particularly rural women.
Naccug GM said part of the activities of the project is to deliver financial literacy and graduation micro finance (GMF) trainings to poor rural people, particularly women.
Graduation micro finance is basically working with the poorest people, those in very remote areas who do not have the opportunity to safe or do not have the means because of their poverty level.
Such women are group together and through the project being implemented, Naccug train them on basic literacy skills, financial skills, and income generating activities.
Mr Jeng said: “When we train these people, we ask them to save at least few dalasi be it weekly or monthly. Then at the level of Naccug, when these people safe, we take it to a credit union and facilitate a loan for them, which would help them to generate some income. This is the graduation micro finance model and it is working very well in some parts of the country.
“So GMF is basically working with the poorest of the poor and trying to help them out through small loans while encouraging them to save.”
The three-year project is currently being implemented in North Bank Region, Brikama and the Fonis. There could be possibility of rolling it out in other regions like the Upper River Region and Central River Region in a follow up project.
At the end of the project, Naccug hope to improve people’s life, capability to save and borrow money and use it wisely.