Our visits are done for another year. It is always good to come and see our members. It is also very instructive to go to the villages and see what everyone is doing.
At the end of our visits I generally try to compile a few numbers that summarize what we have done. So, here goes-
· We traveled 2,460 miles in our visits this year. (This is more than it seems since much of it was traveled at 30 mph over rutted roads.)
· We met with over 1,000 members – about 40% of our SACCOS members here
· We interviewed and took information on 55 members – a good cross section of our membership
· We visited 26 of our villages (there are 40)
· We learned that our SACCOS and AMCOS members are only overlapping about 50% - that is, on average only about half of the members of the AMCOS also belong to our SACCOS. This is different than what we were expecting. We had thought that the two memberships would overlap almost 100%. It may change yet, but for now it seems that 50% is what we are seeing.
· Using this number (ie-50% overlap) it seems that we are seriously underestimating our total membership. Instead of the 15-16,000 people we thought were involved in one or the other or both; it is much closer to 20,000!
· Based on our interviews we are finding that someone who has been a member of Iringa Hope for three or more years has seen their income rise from $300/year to over $1,000 (we estimate about $1,200). This is over the average family income in Tanzania ($926/year according to the World Bank)
· It looks like our members who received loans collectively earned $1,125,000 this year. It also looks like 85% of our members belong to a Diocese of Iringa parish. So, assuming they all tithe (we are told they do), the Diocese received almost $100,000 from our member’s profits this year!
Overall we can construct what a donation of loan funds to Iringa Hope is doing. Based on our interviews and the Joint SACCOS audited report we have found that over a five-year period a $400 donation to Iringa Hope –
· Generates $3,980 in family income
o This pays for 7 years of secondary education
o This results in $398 in donations to DIRA
o This either upgrades a home or pays for a brick house for the family
· At the end of the five years
o Iringa Hope now has $510 in loan capital due to the accumulated interest
o The interest the member pays has paid for $180 in training programs
o The member now has $150 in savings
WOW! Our members never fail to impress us with what they will do if we just give them a chance.