Women's groups: a total of over 280 women run their savings/credit groups all by themselves. Thanks to their savings and the interests on the loans, they have doubled the small capital provided by Thiện Chí so that they could invite other women to join. This program has been operating in Đức Linh for many years.
Micro loans: This major and growing micro credit program is supporting the extremely poor households (monthly income of approximately USD12.50/person). Micro credit (individual loans USD40 to USD200) is in this case part of a global approach which includes training, support for health and education, housing, depending on the needs of each household and on the willingness of the people concerned and the community to join their efforts. The program generally focuses on women and children and looks at ways of supplementing any existing family income. eg: raising chickens, ducks or pigs, growing rice or dragon fruit, etc. These projects will often be implemented at their homes to enable them to continue their family responsibilities with children, elderly relatives, etc. Assistance is provided to ensure the women have the training required for a successful project including advice on fertilizers, watering requirements, vaccination schedules, feed and additives etc. Visits are be made to these households by Thiện Chí staff on a regular basis to assess progress and ensure a positive outcome. Loans are initially with no interest, and repaid either monthly (for instance for petty trade) or after 4-6 months, depending on the nature of the investment. The recovery rate is over 99% and the impact on family income excellent: + 25%/year on average.
Thiện Chí currently works with 2672 such households (March 2013). Every month 30-40 households "graduate" out of poverty and are replaced by other poor households.