Banyang Village Women's Rural Credit Scheme

Implementation of Scheme

DORS Rural Credit Scheme in Banyang Village began in May 1998 in hamlets 2,3,4 and 5. Loans were made in hamlets 1,6,7,8,and 9 in November and December 1998. A meeting was held in hamlet 3, which is located next to the road, for both the women there and also those from the more remote hamlets 4 and 5, explaining the scheme and discussing with the women their preferred method of repayment. As in the project in Sugu Village the women organised themselves into small groups of five, although at Banyang they chose to repay their loans every six months rather than monthly. The township Women’s Cadre assisted with the project. A few weeks later the scheme was extended to women in hamlet 2, who had heard about the project from friends and relatives in the other hamlets.

In November 1998 a meeting was held with women from hamlet 6. They organised themselves into groups of five and took loans to a maximum 1000 RMB with a repayment schedule of six months, a schedule they decided upon themselves. In hamlet 7 a similar procedure was followed. Later, loans were also made to women from hamlet 8 and hamlet 9. Uptake rate in these 4 hamlets was very high, with 80 - 90% of all village women participating in the scheme. The majority wanted loans for livestock rearing, although several were opening small shops on the road. A new factory is under construction which has provided trade for a few general shops. Repayments will be made by sale of livestock (hamlets 8 and 9), from wages from temporary labouring jobs (hamlet 6) and various other trades (shop-keeping and transportation). No loans were made to men. If men accompanied their wives we were sure to direct our questions to the women and listen to their answers rather than their husbands. It was made clear to all the women that the project on which the loan was to be spent must be their own choice, that they have the responsibility for repaying the loans, and that the project is to help them improve their household income through their own efforts.

In 1998 a total of 162 women in Banyang Village received rural credit loans from DORS.

In 1999 and early 2000 loans were made a second time to women from hamlets 1,2,3,7 and 9. Loans were for one year, with two repayments at six monthly intervals. However, after discussing the benefits of the scheme with the women some specific requests were made to amend the scheme. Hamlet 1 took loans of over 1000 RMB (up to 3000 RMB)as some of the women wanted to engage in trade, and hamlet 5 asked for a longer repayment timetable of one and a half years. A total of 73 women took loans, disbursing a cash total of 65,100 RMB (GBP5000). As the repayments in hamlets 6 and 8 were not made on time and there were still some outstanding, these hamlets were not offered a second loan at this time.

The funding for this project has come from the British Chamber of Commerce in China, The Trace Foundation (USA) and Misereor or Germany.