06 / 1994
The Colombo District Women’s Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society Limited popularly known as the Women’s Bank was set up in Sri Lanka with the aim of developing a women centred saving and credit programme in urban poor families. The programme was initiated by two NGOs, the Praja Sahayaka Sewaya(PSS)and the Kantha Sahayaka Sewaya(KSS).
The target group for the savings and credit programme is women of urban poor families who are residents of the target area.
Once the target population is identified by Extension Workers of the Women’s Bank who introduce the programme to the population, further identifying is done by the group itself when it forms into an individual entity.Group members join together on their own accord and then on choose the members of their group.
Only one woman from one family can become a member and should be over 18 years of age, being the age of maturity in Sri Lanka.One member of the group is selected to be the leader and she should not be involved in active party politics or hold a senior post in any community development group or other association. It is believed that such involvements would prevent other members from expressing ideas and criticism freely.
Also the Leader of the group should not be engaged in money lending as the programme is aimed at helping poor women escape from the clutches of the money lender and to increase their income levels by providing interest free loans.
This credit scheme embodies a good mix where the beneficiaries work independantly within an area identified by the benefactor. Here, the bank officers identify the target area and pick out the target population from the area. The beneficiaries take over from then and pick out from among themselves, the most suitable beneficiaries to join the credit scheme.
GAMAGE, Nandasiri, KANTHA SAHAYAKA SEVAYA=WOMENS' ASSISTANCE SERVICE, WOMEN'S ASSISTANCE SERVICE (KANTHA SAHAYAKA SEVAYA), 1993 (SRI LANKA)
IRED Asie (Development Support Service) - 562/3 Nawala Road - Rajagiriya - Sri Lanka Tel : 94 1 695 481 - Fax : 94 1 - 688 368