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Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit
Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit

Why was RAGM created and what does it do?

The Rotarian Action Group for Microfinance and Community Development (RAGM) was born out of a strong Rotarian desire to join in the alleviation of poverty through the use of microcredit (including its many sub branches such as micro-insurance, micro- schools and micro-savings). 

We felt it was important for this action group to become Rotary's official microcredit vehicle with a mandate to help Rotarians understand and utilize microcredit through education, coordination, motivation and communication. 

Starting with focused efforts in 2007 / 2008 a project per year was targeted and by 2010 the goal of a $200,000 fundraising project for the Foundation For Women - Liberia was reached, a milestone of success. Since then the 25 RAGM directors have chosen to support individual projects (as opposed to a central focus) with many success stories, some of which are found elsewhere on this site.

Examples of how RAGM is fulfilling its mandate include the record setting attendance at the Rotary Convention of 2008 - 09 Birmingham when 800 attended the microcredit workshop. Also, a new Rotary led microcredit group in D7070 hosted a microcredit workshop in Toronto that attracted 300 people. This workshop has continued annually. The Calgary Microcredit Conference has been handed off from the hands of Rotarians to Ambrose University in 2014. Students, members of the Public and Rotarians made up the attendance in Sept 2015 of over 300.

RAGM directors and spokespeople can be heard at presentations to clubs, conferences and Rotary (Zone) Institutes. Uniendo America in Central America is but one such "trade fair" type conference where RAGM has maintained a presence, over the years.

Rotarians are now regularly working with microcredit and several districts such as D5360 have appointed Microcredit Task Forces to be a district resource and to host an annual seminar at the District Conference. In D5360 the task force has taken on a ten phase multi club program which has generated nearly one million dollars for Honduras microcredit related programs. See the details by searching for "Honduras" in the prompt box with a magnifying glass.

The modern theme of creating sustainable projects that pass the test of being able to walk away while the project continues is being pursued more rigorously by Rotary's 33,000 clubs. Microcredit is the one truly sustainable undertaking. It not only has a suburb repayment rate of nearly 100% but the loans are regularly repaid on time and are repaid with interest. 

Helping people help themselves is a working definition of Service above Self. Microcredit has proven itself to be one of the best tools available.
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