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Community Banks
The community banks idea came about because CRACYP operates in a rural area with little infrastructure.  The nearest bank branch is about half an hour's drive away and therefore inaccessible to many people in remote rural communities with no transport.  In addition, the level of literacy in the area is not high and some people cannot understand the paperwork needed to open a bank account.
Community banks offering microfinance is an idea we introduced in the local area some years ago.  A group of people contribute a small amount each week to create a fund which can be lent to members of the group - who might perhaps be ineligible for a loan from an ordinary bank, or unable to read the documentation.  Evidence from around the world has shown that this type of micro-credit or community loan is very effective in fighting poverty.
Local communities took up the micro-finance idea with enthusiasm and CRACYP provided training and advice.  The default rate on loans is very low, because the community bank members all know each other, so there is a strong social incentive to repay the loans.  Help is available with the paperwork for those who need it.
The community finance project has been very successful and there are now over 100 community banks in the area, operating independently from CRACYP.  In total, they lend thousands of dollars in micro finance each year, boosting the local economy and allowing families to borrow moderate amounts of money to get through a crisis, start a business or invest in improving their homes and farms. 
Rural Community Banks for Micro-Credit
A Green Progress initiative from CRACYP,
fighting poverty through community action and micro-loans






Community bank members arranging micro-credit loans.Travelling in the back of a truckIsolated house in rural Ecuador
Installing a new distillation tank
Landrover
Cacao (chocolate) pod