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You are most welcome, Chioma.

Thanks!

Chioma, thanks again for responding. The two existing VSL groups mentioned were the only ones piloted by CTF with small grant from a donor in America called World Servants. The funding was used to setup the two VSLAs, trained them, provided them with the necessary kits to start the scheme in 2014 during the Ebola outbreak. They are mentioned here as examples to show that CTF is not new in implementing this great idea.
They succeeded in accessing the loans from the bank to buy the processing facilities and did the repayment completely. However, the initiative was admired by other communities in the region. other many communities are interested in engaging in VSL activities but CTF cannot support them as we are also constrained. Cotton Tree Foundation is just a local NGO relying 100% on donor funds to support local farmers over the years and because the Foundation has no funding to continue forming the VSL groups, train them, provide them the kits and supervise them, that prompted us to share our initiative with Open IDEO. This is in order for CTF to gain funding from Open IDEO to continue setting up large number of various VSL groups in the region by providing the necessary capacity building and tool kits of the program. Once the 2,500 farmers are organized into VSLAs and provided the necessary materials needed, they will be guided by the Foundation staff to be linked to the community banks to access loans and engage in commercial activites in the region.
The scheme itself has a huge training manual with nine modules that need to be thoroughly explained to these groups through group trainings. Each of the module has various topics to be covered for the groups to be well capacitated. The scheme also has unique materials to be used in carrying out the savings and it even has three different phases they normally undergo through intense supervision from a technical team. All of these cannot be done by themselves thus, preventing them from doing it on their own. The intervention of CTF and its technical staff is a necessity to implement the initiative from the inception to its final stage.

I hope this clears the gap for our intervention.

Thanks, once more for seeking clearer clarification on the matter.

Marco, good morning and thanks for stating that this is one of the brilliant idea. It came as a result from what we have piloted in Sierra Leone. Details of your question have been posted to Chioma and i hope she will share that with you.
Cotton tree Foundation has been working with marginalized small holders in transforming their opportunities into livelihood resilience capabilities over the years. Please ask Chioma to share the reply with you. Thanks again!

ALIMAMY BANGURA
BSc (Hons) Agric Economics
MBA Project Management