Fantsuam project

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The Fantsuam project was described by Mike Goodkind (Nigeria XVI) and current President of FON in an email dated 7/10/2008:

Folks, I'm really glad to announce that FON, thanks to your support, contributed to a microloan program in the north of Nigeria. The FON board unanimously authorized sending a check for $1,000 last week to the Fantsuam Foundation in Kafanchan near Kaduna. We view this as a a pilot project that will provide small loans for women - who have limited employment opportunities - to start small businesses. The Fantusam program is modeled on the highly successful principles of the Grameen Bank, which has achieved international recognition for success. We are working with Glenn Dodge, one of the three VSO volunteers we've "adopted" through our members' generous support. Glenn's work assignment is with the Fantsuam Foundation. This is a wonderful example of synergy created by your efforts.

I think our modest involvement brings us a closer connection to Nigeria. The funds, by the way, come from your dues (which have been prudently managed by your treasurer and board) and from the proceeds from our gala SF meeting last summer.

Thanks go to board member Greg Jones and committee member Gail Vann, as well as to Glenn Dodge who worked patiently through our questions with his colleagues at Fantsuam, to John Dada, Comfort Kazanka, and the folks at Fantsuam, and to VSO and our contact, Vicki Wilcher, who introduced us to Glenn and his enthusiasm.

And thanks to all of our members who support our activities and help "Keep the Lorry Rolling."

We look forward to keeping you up to date on activities from Kafanchan. For a look at Fantsuam, here are some links: Their website is is fantsuam.org and their microfinance efforts are described at /microfinance. We'll be in touch.

And thanks for making this pilot project possible. Please let me or Greg Jones know if you have any questions.

Cheers, Mike Goodkind President, FON


Report from the field


From Glenn's blog

One of the projects that I worked on for the Fantsuam Foundation was the development of a proposal for funding from the Friends of Nigeria, a group of former Peace Corps volunteers who worked in Nigeria in the 1960's and 1970's. Upon review of the proposal, the FON generously agreed to provide a grant to Fantsuam's Microfinance Department. For those of you unfamiliar with microfinance, it consists of very small loans (often $100 or less) provided to each member of a group of women needing support to start up their own businesses or expand their existing enterprises. These loans are repaid to the lender according to an agreed upon schedule, and the group members are responsible for ensuring that all members make this repayment. Upon successful repayment, the group may then qualify for a larger loan if desired. Though the amounts may not sound substantial to those of us accustomed to borrowing large sums for the purchase of homes or cars, these microfinance loans make a world of difference for people who need only very modest amounts to achieve much for themselves.

After reviewing the potential groups who could receive the FON loan, it was decided that a group of women in the Zankan Marwa chiefdom, close to Kafanchan, would be the recipients. These women had previously received and repaid a loan to support themselves in the production and sale of maize and yam to their fellow villagers. On September 9th, I travelled with a group from Fantsuam as they made the disbursement of the loan to the women. After a series of discussions with the women regarding the loans, the leader of the group was presented with the loan, and she presided over the presentation of a share of the loan to each of the other women in the group.


See also

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