Thursday, May 15, 2014

Madina Sancha VISACA members promises to increase savings monthly

Madina Sancha VISACA AGM delegates
Village Savings and Credit Associations (VISACA’s) are user-owned, user-managed and user-financed microfinance institutions operating in The Gambia says Mr. Kawsu Conteh, Animator Central River Region (CRR) and Lower River Region (LRR) VISACA Apex.

Mr. Conteh was speaking at Madina Sancha VISACA annual general meeting, Kiang East in Lower River Region over the weekend.

According to him, the ownership of VISACA belongs to the village and the village as an entity adding that savings and deposits can sustain any VISACA in the country.

Mr. Conteh stated that VISACA Apex the umbrella body of VISACA’s in the country is pleased to be associated with the activities that Madina Sancha VISACA is doing that savings, deposits, giving fertilizer to farmers on loans amongst other activities.

He further commended the management of Madina Sancha VISACA for holding the annual general meeting adding that holding an annual general meeting is very important it’s based on the credibility of every organisation; while urging the management committee and the general membership to continue guiding the constitution and regulations that governs VISACA’s in the country.

On membership of VISACA’s, Mr. Conteh used the AGM to said that membership is limited to individuals and group saying that group and Kafoo’s membership is limited to groups that are actively involved in development work in the village.

“Each membership application must be accompanied by a valid identification documents”

Reading the financial statement of the year, Mr. Conteh gave the VISACA thumb-up saying that the VISACA made a profit of D132, 711.00 from January to December 2013.

Cash in hand, he said is D166, 143, income from grants that is Rural Finance Project- the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and government of The Gambia (GoTG) finance project and Social Development Fund (SDF) stood at D52, 981.

Membership fees D18, 835.00, Expenses interest paid on term deposit D8, 733.00, and interest paid on external loans D63, 000.00. The VISACA gained D8,200.00 on mobile charging.

On savings, Mr. Conteh revealed that members are ‘not doing good savings’ with the VISACA disclosing that active deposit is fourty-eight (48)  of which ten (10) are females, eight (8) non-residents, four (4) are Kafoos and no male made savings in the year 2013.

He then expressed disappointment that members are not making saving but was quick to attribute to Gambians saying that ‘in The Gambia we don’t’ have saving habits.”

For her part, Madina Sancha VISACA President, Aji Sohna Ceesay spoke at length on the importance of AGM saying that the village through the AGM shall define the rules and procedures for running the VISACA.

According to her, it’s at the AGM that villagers shall select the cashiers and management committee to run the affairs, therefore, holding AGM is very important, she told congress delegates.

On membership, Madam Ceesay said that they have 834 of which 302 are females, 446 outsiders, 25 Kafoo and 507 are males. 

She revealed that the VISACA is for the village (Madina Sancha) and the surrounding villages and expressed her profound gratitude with the turn-out of the general membership.

“Only members with savings and deposit can borrow from the VISACA and no loan to non-VISACA members”

Speaking earlier, Alkalo Mbye Ceesay said the ownership and governance of any VISACA lies with the villagers while urging villagers to take ownership of the VISACA.

Immam, Biram Touray, Mrs. Fatou Jobe committee, Mrs. Fatoumatta Jallow from Njolefen village all spoke at the AGM and was chaired by Maser Abdou Gassama.

At the end of the AGM, members unanimously agreed to increase saving each month D50.00.

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