|We got there in time ot greet the members. We always enjoy this.|
Today we attended the annual meeting of the Iringa Hope Joint SACCOS (IHJS). The IHJS is the governing body for our SACCOS. It controls loan funds, loan policy, membership rules, etc. It is the group that collects funds and hires the Micro Finance Institute (MFI) to run things – so technically it is Itiweni’s and the MFI’s boss!
Since the IHJS general meeting is held in October we have never been to one before. We normally come in the February-March time frame and so miss the meeting.
|I met with the IHJS before the general meeting.|
The IHJS board invited me to meet with them prior to the general meeting. So Sandy and I went over about 9:00 this morning to visit. They wanted to express their gratitude for the Rotary grant and ask if we had any advice for them. I talked a bit about watching loans to the AMCOS (our new Farmer’s Co-ops) since they do not have the same underlying credit as our members. I also advised them to develop and implement a “CD” that they could use to encourage our members to save more. We also talked a bit about moving funds around and how to better control this. But mostly I told them how proud I was of them and their excellent work!
Around 10 we went over to the general meeting place. There was some concern about the size of the
|There were 75 or so people at the meeting.|
The meeting got started late as many meetings here do. Absalom, the IHJS board chairman, called the meeting to order. There were many introductions and then I was invited to address the group. I am always so proud of these elected officers and this is what I tried to express in my remarks. They spend a lot of time doing their best work for their members. They are paid very little (each SACCOS decides how much but $5-10/month is typical) yet they bring so much to their work. Without these people Iringa Hope could not possibly function.
|The IHJS chairman, Absalom, started the meeting.|
The formal portion of the meeting started. There are 11 items on the agenda for today. These include a review of our audit report, actions on loans collections, increase in membership, admission of a new SACCOS, next year’s budget for the MFI’s work, formalization of Jefa Duma’s employment and salary, and a few other items.
Our audit has once again had no issues or problems. The Commissioner has told us that we are the ONLY group in Tanzania to have a perfect audit every year – great work! The new Registrar was in attendance today. We have always had a good relationship with the former Registrar, John Kiteve, but he has now retired. The new Registrar seems very impressed with our group. He talked a little about growth and diversification of incomes. He made a few comments on collections. Some of the members questioned him on our fees to the government. (He invited them to a meeting in the capital so they could complain directly to the Ministry) Overall he seemed very happy with the group.
The meeting lasted 4 hours. We were very impressed by how business-like things were conducted. The membership clearly understands that they are in charge and takes this responsibility very seriously.
|Members asked good questions. It is clear they take thier|
role very seriously.
The budget was passed, Jefa Duma was hired and his salary agreed on, SACCOS are sending in funds to the IHJS, and so on. The meeting was clearly a success and everyone was smiling.
We went outside and took a picture of the group. I talked with Robert George (the new Registrar) awhile. He promised to hurry up the registration of our Joint AMCOS (it has been stuck for 6 months) – but we will see. Tomorrow we are off to Usokami for church. It is a 2 hour drive so we are leaving at 7.
|After we adjourned I took a picture of the group. Can you spot Sandy?|