The initiator of Global Child Welfare, Lut Verlinden, and her husband Tony, sponsor already from 2001 AVIJIT PARIYAR. They were looking for an opportunity to support also his family in another way.
The objective of the project is to give the opportunity to Sarangkot families to buy a buffalo with a so-called ‘soft loan’. A buffalo can improve life standards a lot: they provide milk, and the manure is used to fertilize the soil. Any surplus of milk can be sold.
In 2003 QOLN organised a lot of public meetings, and a committee was raised to lead the project. Parents whose children came to the day-care centre could apply to get a water buffalo. The committee made a selection from the candidates on the basis of the following standards:
- families who are motivated to take upon themselves the care of the buffalo
- families who live below the poverty line and therefore do not have the money to buy a buffalo
- parents who are motivated to improve the health of their children by giving them milk
- families who can afford to pay a ‘soft loan’
In 2004, ten families were selected. A contract was made, supervised by QOLN, the committee and the beneficiaries. This implied:
- A loan without interest was granted. For the sum of 20.000 rupees (250€) those families could buy a water buffalo.
- The loan has to be paid back within 2 years with monthly pay-offs of 584 rupees (wage of 2 to 3 days). This money is transferred to a special bank account.
- After 2 years other families can use this money to buy a buffalo with the same ‘soft loan’ system. The pilot project was supported by a donation of 25%.
- Every beneficiary gets 1000 rupees as a deposit. This sum can be used to pay a vet.
- In case a buffalo dies QOLN – after an investigation – pays for its replacement. A committee of villagers supports the beneficiary families and reports twice a month to the official committee, which, in turn, report to QOLN.
2007 till Now
After this pilot project nine boroughs (VDCs or Village Development Committees) asked to join the project. QOLN is very grateful to Olivier Toulemonde and his French organization D.E.P.A.R.T.S., who support this micro-loan project every year!
Till 2010, QOLN co-operated together with the nine boroughs, to select each year around 18 families as a beneficiary for this project. So in total QOLN and D.E.P.A.R.T.S. could provide a buffalo to 79 families!
Only this year, 2011, there was no buffalo project lanced, because the prices of the buffalo went up too high (the cost of a buffalo starts from 500 euro now!), and more money is needed. Therefore, QOLN could agree with D.E.P.A.R.T.S. to wait another year to double the funds, so more families can be helped.
The money the beneficiaries deposited on the bank will also contribute to buy buffalos at a higher price.
This project is unique in Nepal. QOLN may be proud of the results. In the future we would like to help more families to acquire a buffalo in the same way.