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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Opening banks, growing talents

Today, after few months of works we finally opened the new Union Bank in Ngaoundaye, 220 Km north of Bozoum, close to the border with  Cameroun and Ciad. 
Back in  1992,  Dr Ione (legendary character here: she’s from Italy but living in Central African Repubblic since 1970)went to Bangui to exchange Ngaoundaye farmers’ savings.
Often people hide their savings at home and mice, termites or fire are destroying them. Unfortunately the Central Bank refused to exchange them.
Therefore she and some other people came up with a plan in order to keep the savings in a safe location. They enquired at the same organization that opened “Credits Mutuels” (union banks) however they weren’t able to work outside the capital or the big cities….
So the only option left was to open a small Union bank called Credit Mutuel Villageois di Ngaundaye.
Slowly it grew and started to allocate small loans. In january this year it had about  22.500 euro as mutual savings, with more than 160 holder members.
Now a UE found and with the support of a Danish ONG (DRC) we were finally able to build the new Union Bank in Ngaundaye, which is the following step of the former one. All of this develop the Mutual Saving and Credit Bank of Bozoum, located inBozoum and has 4 branches  (Bozoum, Ndim, Koui e Ngaundaye).
Why opening a bank?
I was actually thinking about that this morning….And it made me think of The Parable of the Talents: a man who is preparing to leave on a journey entrusts his possessions to each servants, apportioned to them on the basis of their abilities.
Once he returns, finds who invested and multiplied by 100% and who
dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. Lord reproaches him for not investing the money and being able to give back withinterests…

Money is a tool that can be really evil but also that can do a great deal of good. It can make people live in dignity being able to provide for themselves and their families…
It can be used selfishly, and only bring cold and sadness but it can be donated and give back joy and warmth…