FON and the Fantsuam Foundation - an Update
Greg Jones (22) 66-68
[The FON Board voted in Feb. to invest an additional $5,000 to support the Fantsuam Foundation’s microfinance program.]
This just in from John Dada, the director of the Fantsuam Foundation, on the loans facilitated by FON’s prototype investment of $1,000 last August:
The Zankan Marwa [Kaduna state] women continue to make progress with the repayment of their loans. The loans were given on 9th August 2008. So far, there are no defaults and the ten women are expected to complete repayment of their FON cycle of loans on 9th February 2009. You would recall that there was a balance of 17,000 Naira that remained from the FON grant. Of this, N15,000 was disbursed to a client in the Bassa Centre and her repayment is also on course. The balance of N2,000 was used to cover administrative costs and fuel for trips to meet with the Zankan Marwa group.
The women have all indicated interest in continuing with the next cycle of loan which entitles them to N20,000 each.
As the size of loans given to the women grows, it is important to build their capacity to handle higher sums of money. As part of preparation for that next cycle of loans, the Zankan Marwa women are now being offered Business Development Service (BDS) training. The Fantsuam Field Officer, Hajara, has completed training of two of the three modules. The BDS training is a participatory learning activity that teaches skills of Business Planning, Team Work, Risk Assessment and Identification of new business opportunities and threats to business growth.
At the conclusion of the first cycle of loans, there will be a post-loan impact assessment and this will be followed by the disbursement of the next cycle of N20,000 each in February 2009. There will be full photo coverage of that event, with the community leader in attendance and that will form part of the next progress report to FON.
We also heard from Cicely Brown, a VSO volunteer my wife and I met while we were visiting Fantsuam in November. She plans to visit the Zankan Marwa women soon and promises to write up her visit for FON. In addition, Cicely writes a very interesting blog, usually including great pictures. You can access it at http:// cicelyinnigeria.blogspot.com. I found past entries in her blog fascinating, so I spent far more time reading it than I ever planned to. Fantsuam is also expanding its presence on the internet. A 5- minute you-tube explanation of FF’s programs can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlEBTCZ67NI. A google search returns over 11,000 links, including a Wikipedia entry that concentrates on FF’s wireless internet and computer activities. See also the Fantsuam website www.fantsuam.org