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HECD Microcredit Task Force Minutes - Jan 2016
Category: Microcredit | By Steve, 17-Feb-2017 | Viewed 1849  Comments 0 | Source Judy Cochran
HECD Volunteer Administrator & Calgary West Rotarian

Minutes of the January HECD, Phase V D 5360 Microcredit Task Force

Meeting: January 30, 2017 at the Grey Eagle Restaurant.

Attendees: Bill Fitzsimmons, Steve Rickard, Wally Gardiner, Ken Montgomery, Duncan Stanners,  Orlin McMillan, Deb Barry, Judy Cochran and Jannalee Anderson (OIC) via telephone
Honduras Update from Jannalee Anderson

Jannalee was recently in Honduras. Most of the news from Honduras was relayed to the team in December after another trip Jannalee had made. She had an opportunity to meet with IDH. The Santa Barbara Branch is doing well and growing. The Quimistan branch located northwest of Santa Barbara was opened about six months prior to the Santa Barbara Branch. Both branches are fully utilizing the efficiencies of the IT system installed during Phase II. 

Carmen, one of the ladies who has worked in the branch for the past three years, specifically talked about the IT system and how it has changed her life and offered her a work life balance. In all areas from accounting to customer service the IT system is safer and faster. With a young family at home she can have the quality of life to be both a career woman and a new mother. There would be at least one similar story in all twelve branches plus from those working in the head office as well. Not to mention the benefits the clients would receive. 

Phase III also brought in an IT module that flows into the whole IDH mobile system. This will hopefully be up and running in time for the Insight Trip in April. Those participating in the Insight Trip will be able to see and hear of the benefits first hand.

Insight Trip

The Insight Trip is scheduled for April 17- April 22. The hotel has been reserved in Tegucigalpa. Maria Elena Alvarez is working on booking the hotels in the rural areas. There will be a meeting with IDH on the Tuesday, April 18  The branch of IDH is excited about the loan portfolio of Phase IV going to SME's  (small to medium entrepreneurs). Mario is now part of the executive team for SME's. One of OIC's private donors had been against loan money for SME's but when he realized a $4,500 loan was growing a business and hiring employees he saw the impact of how effectively the money was being used.  The SME's loan portfolio can absorb all monies that will be sent down in Phase IV and Phase V. The IDH target is to have each branch with $1 million in the loan portfolio plus open three new branches in 2017.

Scope of Phase V

  For Phase V there will potentially be three components to the project with a projected budget of $300K USD.  The first component is additional funding going to the SME loan portfolio. The second being a water project with Arnoldo Alvarez. Arnoldo did the two water projects in Phase II. He is a trusted source of not only information but also implementation when it comes to water projects. A tentative figure of $50K USD has been given to Arnoldo. It may increase as this is about $20K lower than the cost of the water projects in Phase II. There is no physical location determined as yet . It is too early in the planning stages and would not be fair to announce the project to the villagers at this preliminary stage. All those on the Insight Trip will be able to meet Arnoldo. Duncan Stanners and Wally Gardiner are staying on after the trip to hold more detailed discussions on the water project. The final component is yet to be determined but we are looking at something new and different not yet undertaken in the previous four Phases at a potential budget of $10 - $20K USD . The first two components will be the primary focus and use the majority of funding raised. 

Ideally the Insight Trip would include 5-10 people however if more are included, say 12-15 people,  a bigger bus would be required. It also can become quite crowded with more participants when on field trips to branch offices or meeting loan clients in their homes or place of business.  We may be close to quota already with 7 out of the 10 spots already on hold.  Ken Montgomery will mention the Insight Trip in his HECD presentation to the club next week.  It is also being advertised in our District - WhaZUp - Events Digest. 

HPIC Medical Kits

will be carried down by some of those on the Insight Trip. RCCW has approved $1,150 CDN towards the purchase of two medical kits. Bill Fitzsimmons and Wally Gardiner will work out the details of purchase and transport. 

Travel Grant Applications

The Travel Grant for Bill Fitzsimmons and Wally Gardiner has been prepared by Judy Cochran and Tazim Asaria in draft form. The recipients of the potential grant can tweak any wording as they so choose. Victor Gutierrez has promised the Letter of Invitation from the RC Real de Minas by February 1. Each gentleman will also be responsible to meet and submit all reporting requirements for their grant. 

Marketing Plan for HECD Phase V

With an ambitious target of $300K USD for Phase V in funding, a plan needs to be put in place. Marketing opportunities will include Rotary District Conference held this year in Red Deer from May 5-7. Yet to be determined who will be presenting. The Insight Trip in April is a powerful way to get the message across with first hand client stories. The track record is proven; the need is still there and the impact is far reaching. Every time you go on a client trip there are new stories, new pictures that speak louder than words.  Quotes come from all levels - during travel time and at meals.  A committee will be formed to visit local clubs across the district in the coming Rotary Year. This year's RI Convention is in Atlanta in June. RAGM is using this opportunity to hold its annual AGM and Presentation during a 90 minute time slot at the  Convention.  An interesting program is being developed regarding Microcredit in the Developed world. Four speakers from different locations will be featured.

Funding Considerations

RCCW has the individual expertise, support and talent. We do not want to tax the club from a financial perspective or a talent perspective with the focus HECD requires. There has been endorsement from the District and TRF that a ten year phased project would be the best way to utilize the existing infrastructure with IDH and OIC and build on it as every phase is completed which is exactly what ha been done to date.  If we have broader support for the initiative from other clubs like Wally Gardiner from High River, Jim Louttit from Toronto and potentially members from Calgary East we are showing good intent for all the clubs involved. 

Phase IV Update

An additional $1,500 CDN was received from the RC of North York; bringing the total funds collected to date to $52K CDN. We are still waiting to hear back from the Alberta Government on our CIP Grant Application sent in September 15, 2016. Although there is no word yet, monies have started to flow; some grants being as high as $25K CDN. We are currently two months behind schedule with this delay. 

Once we know the CIP grant amount it will be plugged into the Global Grant and the exchange rates adjusted as well as the budget. The budget will include 10% admin fee for currency fluctuations as well as 5% monitoring and evaluation.  This will take about a day to reconfigure the numbers. Next the Government of Canada (TRFC)  Grant application will be submitted. That is usually less than two weeks turnaround time. Steve Rickard will do a further inquiry with TRFC to determine if extra money is available and how one might make a request. Finally the GG will be submitted. We are hoping funds will flow to Honduras in early spring. Karl Herzog has not as yet received any paperwork on our HECD Phase IV project bank account.  He is aware monies will start to flow in 6-8 weeks. 

Upcoming Presentation

Ken Montgomery along with Duncan Stanners will be giving a presentation to RCCW at next week's meeting. Ken will speak to Phase IV and Duncan can speak to the success of the previous phases. The bigger picture of the next phases can also be addressed talking about such things as ending hunger related deaths in the world by 2030.  It is imperative to do a good job of keeping club members informed and aware of our project, how the club donations are being spent and the impact we are having.

Team Positions Available

Not covered in the meeting were team membership confirmation and team roles including vacant spots for a Special Events Coordinator, a Webmaster and a Communications Leader .  Please contact Bill Fitzsimmons (Phase V Team Lead) at bilfitz@shaw.ca if you are interested in these and other roles.

Judy Cochran

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