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Thomas commented on Iringa Hope Integrated Development Center (IDC)

I did place a link in the text, but I sure can bring it forward. Actually, links to reports on our members is probably even more useful. So, our webiste is iringahope1.org. Our annual reports can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/iringahopeannualreport/. Our current reports on visits with members at various locations can be found at https://iringahope.wordpress.com/blog/. A more complete set from last year can be found at http://iringahopevisits2016.blogspot.com/.

Our development has been limited from the outset by the funds that we can raise. When we started our regular development in 2010 we had a budget of $25,000. This last year we raised a little over $400,000 - but the granting agencies dictated some unusual expenditures so we probably had use of $250,000.

Assuming real program funding of $300,000 per year, our goal would be to fully complete a self governing, self supporting network of IDCs and develop a training program for other groups (we are often asked to come and train other NGOs, government groups, etc. but until we have completed our network we offer people the chance to come and observe but we do not do training per se.)

So, right now we have 2 IDCs in villages in the Iringa region fully operating and 5 more that will be running by later this year. Altogether we have 29 working SACCOS (the finance portion of an IDC) with 6 more starting up. We also have 10 working AMCOS (the farmer's coop portion of an IDC) with 5 more starting up. We have training programs running. We are also marketing maize while our AMCOs are providing fertilizer, seed, and sprays. The SACCOS are 100% self funding while the AMCOS are just starting. There are 16,000 people within our network.

At the end of year 1 we would expect to have completed 13 IDCs with operations starting or underway at all of these. We would also expect to have competed 33 SACCOS (remember that 13 of these SACCOS would be part of a working IDC). We would also expect to have 15 fully working AMCOS with 5 more starting up. We would be marketing rice in addition to maize. The AMCOS would be providing 40-50% of their funding and be fully self governing. We would expect to be serving 18,000 people.

At the end of year 2 we would expect to have 19 IDCs running or starting to operate. We would have 35 fully operational SACCOS and 20 fully operational AMCOS. We would expect to be marketing tomatoes and possibly potatoes. Our AMCOS network would be funding 70-80% of their program. We would be starting to construct a marketing center and developing a crop storage program to improve prices. We would expect to be serving over 21,000 people.

By the end of year 3 we would expect to have 25 IDCs operational. We would have completed the marketing center and be running a crop storage program. The IDC network would be fully self funded and self governing. We would have developed a full training program for other locations. We will be serving 25,000 in the Iringa area.

So, that is what we hope to accomplish within 3 years. A fully operational, self funding, self governing network of IDCs serving over 25,000 people within the Iringa, Tanzania region. We would expect that our member's incomes would have risen to $1,400-$2,000/year or more (from their present level of $300) and their communities to have experienced substantial development.

You had asked for a program summary, but there is one. It is contained in the first two paragraphs. Perhaps you were looking for something shorter than a paragraph? Another way to phrase what an IDC is is it is an integrated set of cooperatives that provide three key elements for community development - that is the knowledge of what to do to improve your livelihoods; the resources to work with to achieve this; and access to the necessary supplies, markets, etc. to make it happen! The problem that is being addressed is the cycle of extreme poverty that these communities are trapped in.