Benjamin Apra and Guilhelm Baschet in front of the Project office in Hpa-an, Kayin State
In support to microfinance and enterprise development, two French bikers – Benjamin Apra and Guilhelm Baschet – decided to visit 10 countries by bike and meet along the way people who have been touched by microfinance. Dubbed Au Bout de Soie, the biking duo visited the Project areas in February 2017. They met with some members of the cooperatives who have borrowed and started new enterprises.
The video-documentation of their engagement with the people in the villages are available in the internet through these links:
Raffle winners during the culmination of savings mobilization campaign
Bawa Yay Thauk Myit Cooperative introduced its savings mobilization program last November 2016, offering regular savings and time deposit savings products to its members. Members can deposit their money to the cooperative for safekeeping, earning a modest interest of 8% per annum for a regular savings deposit and a slightly higher interest rate for the time deposit.
The program was launched with a raffle to give incentive to the members offering a brand new cellphone for the first prize; a 24-inch TV for the second prize; and 10 shares of stocks for the third prize. The campaign culminated in January 30, 2017, mobilizing 3.7 million Kyats (US$2,740.) from 64 depositors. The savings services of the cooperative are expected to pick-up as people in the community start to appreciate the role of the cooperative in improving their lives.
The officers and management staff of Bawa Yay Thauk Myint Cooperative participated in the Training on Cooperative Audit organized and conducted by Positive Planet last August 24-26 at the Mibamyita Hotel in Hpa-an. The training is part of the series of Cooperative Formation Courses (CFC) designed to strengthen the operations of cooperatives.
Resource Person Olive de Guzman explaining cash audit methods
The audit training was designed to enhance the skills of the members of the Audit Committee within the Board of Directors as the financial activities of the cooperative are building up. The cooperative released the first set of loans last July and the second batch was approved by the Board and waiting for release. The cooperative is also slated to start its savings mobilization program within the month of September.
Participants doing cash count exercise
The training covered topics such as basic principles of audit, internal and external audit process and the people in the cooperative responsible for audit. The theoretical discussions were completed by workshops where members of the Audit Committee practiced doing cash count, review of loan documents and role-play in doing field validation.
Role playing on field validation activities
Other participants included staff of the Community Development Association (CDA) and representatives from Pwint Pwint Lin Lin Coop in the adjacent sub-township of Paing Kyone.