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The Mid-Point Report of a Microcredit Project
Category: Microcredit | By BChinnery, 26-May-2014 | Viewed 2089  Comments 0
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IDH Team in Tegucigalpa - Interim Microcredit Project Update
As the Honduras Economic & Community Development Team (HECD) moves ahead with future planning phases in Honduras, and another wonderful trip through the country, it's important that we continue to stay the course with the existing project, a $135,000 microcredit loan pool and operations plan for the working poor in Santa Cruz de Yojoa, high in the beautiful hills of the Honduras countryside.

We've learned important lessons along the way - here are a few best practices and experiences that you may find helpful.

1. Continue to communicate regularly with your host country Rotarians throughout the course of your project and to be open to learning their work style when requesting reports and documentation. It's best to gather receipts, cheque copies and bank statements immediately to avoid delays at the time of reporting (faxed/scanned copies).

2. Let your Host Rotarians know that a Rotary Foundation 'cadre' visitor will be scheduled to meet with them and the microfinance institution (MFI) team at the project half-way point.

3. It's helpful to assure everyone that the cadre visitor is a long-time Rotarian who's there to be helpful and to work with the team to ensure things are running smoothly. Host country Rotarians are encouraged to make time and effort to work with the cadre visitor and gain valuable insight from their education and experience.

4. Feel free to request a phone call with the cadre visitor once they return home. I spoke with ours, who lives in California, a week after her visit in Honduras to review the project strengths and weaknesses. It was an invaluable conversation and the overall report on our project was positive.

5. It's helpful to log on to the Rotary.org reporting site well in advance of the cadre visit and begin to fill in the information. Once you're familiar with the reporting requirements, which are straightforward, it's far less intimidating for first-timers. The reporting is a direct reflection of your initial application, so it's helpful to have your earlier documents on hand.

6. Socializing and Presenting Updates - we found it was a great pleasure to visit Honduras again and to reconnect with our friends there. Cultural and language differences are a part of the overall experience and having the opportunity to meet up again and begin to shape future plans was not to be missed. We've now made many friends, acquaintances and both Rotary and non-Rotary connections that will go a long way to Service Above Self in Honduras for many years to come.

We look forward to future visits and invite you to come along. Please feel free to get in touch with myself or Steve Rickard (Calgary West) or Duncan Stanners (Calgary West) to ask how you can contribute to Honduras development and plan to join us for a great experience.
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