VILLAGE COMMUNITY BANKING “My life and family has changed, but the whole community has benefitted too because if you educate a woman – one lady – you are educating the whole community.” – Hadija, VICOBA member in Lushoto, Tanzania. IN TANZANIA, Village Community Banking (VICOBA) provides a structure through which communities are able to organize themselves, provide skill-sharing, and capacity building in an effort to combat poverty. Inspired by Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank, the idea behind VICOBA is the belief that poor people have the skills, capabilities and abilities to improve their own economic development and social welfare. In a field that is increasingly becoming dominated by corporate models of development, these stories provide examples of alternative models that are based on the dignity and ingenuity of the people. These women-led initiatives empower communities to find local solutions to their own local problems. These often-untold stories of community role models transforming their own communities are at the heart of a stronger, more inclusive, healthier and more socially just model of international development.

VILLAGE COMMUNITY BANKING


“My life and family has changed, but the whole community has benefitted too because if you educate a woman – one lady – you are educating the whole community.” – Hadija, VICOBA member in Lushoto, Tanzania.

IN TANZANIA, Village Community Banking (VICOBA) provides a structure through which communities are able to organize themselves, provide skill-sharing, and capacity building in an effort to combat poverty. Inspired by Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank, the idea behind VICOBA is the belief that poor people have the skills, capabilities and abilities to improve their own economic development and social welfare.

In a field that is increasingly becoming dominated by corporate models of development, these stories provide examples of alternative models that are based on the dignity and ingenuity of the people. These women-led initiatives empower communities to find local solutions to their own local problems. These often-untold stories of community role models transforming their own communities are at the heart of a stronger, more inclusive, healthier and more socially just model of international development.

ELIZABETH - Elizabeth is a VICOBA facilitator in Arusha, who helps new VICOBA groups get started. VICOBA is structured in such a way that people are organized in groups and trained in various skills to build up their capacity to provide for themselves.

ELIZABETH - Elizabeth is a VICOBA facilitator in Arusha, who helps new VICOBA groups get started. VICOBA is structured in such a way that people are organized in groups and trained in various skills to build up their capacity to provide for themselves.

COMMUNITY BANKING - VICOBA groups are usually made up of no more than thirty community members. Each member puts in a small amount every month and can take out loans when needed. Most groups also set aside an emergency pool, to provide support for members with a form of insurance. The following images show some of the ways VICOBA members have put their loans and newly acquired skills to use.

COMMUNITY BANKING - VICOBA groups are usually made up of no more than thirty community members. Each member puts in a small amount every month and can take out loans when needed. Most groups also set aside an emergency pool, to provide support for members with a form of insurance. The following images show some of the ways VICOBA members have put their loans and newly acquired skills to use.

BILIHUSI - Bilihusi is a VICOBA member in Lushoto who has taken out loans to invest in her farm. She raises goats and a cow and sells beans and potatoes in the Lushoto market. She is now able to grow all the food she needs to provide for her family of five.

BILIHUSI - Bilihusi is a VICOBA member in Lushoto who has taken out loans to invest in her farm. She raises goats and a cow and sells beans and potatoes in the Lushoto market. She is now able to grow all the food she needs to provide for her family of five.

Bilihusi is a VICOBA member in Lushoto who has taken out loans to invest in her farm. She raises goats and a cow and sells beans and potatoes in the Lushoto market. She is now able to grow all the food she needs to provide for her family of five.

Bilihusi is a VICOBA member in Lushoto who has taken out loans to invest in her farm. She raises goats and a cow and sells beans and potatoes in the Lushoto market. She is now able to grow all the food she needs to provide for her family of five.

HADIJA - Hadija is a member of a VICOBA group in Lushoto, Tanzania. Thanks to a loan from her VICOBA group, Hadija was able to start a poultry farm and grow vegetables, which now provides all the food needs of her family of four. "I no longer have to buy and food for the family, except maybe rice sometimes. It makes me very proud to be able to support the whole family on my own."

HADIJA - Hadija is a member of a VICOBA group in Lushoto, Tanzania. Thanks to a loan from her VICOBA group, Hadija was able to start a poultry farm and grow vegetables, which now provides all the food needs of her family of four. "I no longer have to buy and food for the family, except maybe rice sometimes. It makes me very proud to be able to support the whole family on my own."

FARAHA - Faraha sells vegetables in the market in Lushoto thanks to a small start-up loan from her local VICOBA group.

FARAHA - Faraha sells vegetables in the market in Lushoto thanks to a small start-up loan from her local VICOBA group.

GROWING FAMILY - The Christent family has grown since they joined a local group. They already had two children and have adopted four orphans, providing a safe family environment and ensuring a better future for all of them.

GROWING FAMILY - The Christent family has grown since they joined a local group. They already had two children and have adopted four orphans, providing a safe family environment and ensuring a better future for all of them.

ZIANA AND CLEMENT - Ziana owns a small guest house and tea shop in Geita. Her business helps meet the basic needs of herself and her five children, and she is managing to send her children to school. Ziana is HIV+, as is her youngest son Clement (pictured with Ziana here), so without the support of her local VICOBA group, they would be in a very difficult situation.

OMAR - Omar is a member of the Tumaini VICOBA group made up mostly of people living with HIV. The group decided to start a jointly owned poultry farm, allowing them to share the responsibilities and benefits. The group has already made a profit and plans to expand.

OMAR - Omar is a member of the Tumaini VICOBA group made up mostly of people living with HIV. The group decided to start a jointly owned poultry farm, allowing them to share the responsibilities and benefits. The group has already made a profit and plans to expand.

MWANAISHA - Mwanaisha is a member of the Tumaini VICOBA group in Magugu, Tanzania. Like most of the other members of the Tumaini Group, Mwanaisha is HIV+ so being able to support herself and afford the medical treatments through her participation in VICOBA has been especially important.

MWANAISHA - Mwanaisha is a member of the Tumaini VICOBA group in Magugu, Tanzania. Like most of the other members of the Tumaini Group, Mwanaisha is HIV+ so being able to support herself and afford the medical treatments through her participation in VICOBA has been especially important.

UBIRI WOMEN'S GROUP - Upendo (left) and Asha (right) are members of the Ubiri Women's Group is Lushoto. The groups makes fruit juices and jams.

UBIRI WOMEN'S GROUP - Upendo (left) and Asha (right) are members of the Ubiri Women's Group is Lushoto. The groups makes fruit juices and jams.

UBIRI WOMEN'S GROUP - Upendo is a member of the Ubiri Women's Group in Lushoto. Here she is putting the finishing touches on their latest batch of passion fruit juice.

UBIRI WOMEN'S GROUP - Upendo is a member of the Ubiri Women's Group in Lushoto. Here she is putting the finishing touches on their latest batch of passion fruit juice.

ZUENA - Zuena joined a local VICOBA group in 2007 and took out some loans to invest in her tailor shop. This investment has paid off for her as her business has grown and she now employs four of her neighbors.

ZUENA - Zuena joined a local VICOBA group in 2007 and took out some loans to invest in her tailor shop. This investment has paid off for her as her business has grown and she now employs four of her neighbors.

CHRISTINA - Christina sells rice in the Geita market. Her mother was a member of VICOBA and passed her shares on to Christina when she moved away. Christina has big dream for herself and her family, right now she is only a few months away from completing the construction of their new home.

CHRISTINA - Christina sells rice in the Geita market. Her mother was a member of VICOBA and passed her shares on to Christina when she moved away. Christina has big dream for herself and her family, right now she is only a few months away from completing the construction of their new home.

REGINA AND HANA - Regina, with her daughter Hana, is a facilitator for a VICOBA group in Geita. she sells fish and vegetables in the market. She is especially greatful for the business training she recieved when she joined, giving her the entrepreneurial skills that she lacked before.

REGINA AND HANA - Regina, with her daughter Hana, is a facilitator for a VICOBA group in Geita. she sells fish and vegetables in the market. She is especially greatful for the business training she recieved when she joined, giving her the entrepreneurial skills that she lacked before.

PRISCA - Prisca sells charcoal in the market in Geita. She used to be a manual laborer so she is much happier now buying and selling charcoal. The work is easier, physically, and earns her more income. With the income from her business, her family has been able to build a home for themselves.

PRISCA - Prisca sells charcoal in the market in Geita. She used to be a manual laborer so she is much happier now buying and selling charcoal. The work is easier, physically, and earns her more income. With the income from her business, her family has been able to build a home for themselves.

SARA AND FRIENDS - Sara (top centre) co-owns a small beauty salon in Geita, Tanzania. Regina, Joyce, and Jessica are three of her regular customers, coming back once or twice a week to get their hair done and exchange the latest gossip. Sara says that she is now able to provide for her family and send her two children to school.

SARA AND FRIENDS - Sara (top centre) co-owns a small beauty salon in Geita, Tanzania. Regina, Joyce, and Jessica are three of her regular customers, coming back once or twice a week to get their hair done and exchange the latest gossip. Sara says that she is now able to provide for her family and send her two children to school.

DEBORAH - Deborah's mother joined a VICOBA group in Mugusu in order to invest in her clothing shop. Because business has been going well for Deborah's mother, Deborah is now going to school and getting an education.

DEBORAH - Deborah's mother joined a VICOBA group in Mugusu in order to invest in her clothing shop. Because business has been going well for Deborah's mother, Deborah is now going to school and getting an education.

VILLAGE COMMUNITY BANKING

VILLAGE COMMUNITY BANKING