Intern, Financial Capacity Building
As a Financial Capacity Building Intern, my responsibilities were to train and promote the importance of money and ways to manage it to the women of the Ingabo Ikingira Ubukene Co-op in Bugesera District of Rwanda. I was to provide trainings for the month of June on the following topics:
- Cash Flow and Saving
- Profitability and Borrowing
- Financial Record Keeping.
Of the 5 sessions I covered, only the first session had about a quorum - just above half of the total number were present. For the next 4 sessions, it was always a full house.
The impact of such financial trainings is tremendous to both the co-op as a group and to individual members. Lessons learned from the trainings can as well be applied by individual members to manage their income generating activities within their households. To fulfill Africa Development Promise's mission of helping co-ops to achieve economic self-reliance they would indeed need continuous financial trainings as a way to equip co-op members with skills to manage loans, grants and other moneys that may help them grow. These few modules that I trained them in have given the women the basics of financial management. However, it is not something that one expects the group to fully grasp after one training. This kind of training material needs to be reintroduced to the members every now and then so they can adapt and use it in their day-to-day activities.
The way I conducted the training was through discussions and participation. Before I introduced the contents within a module, I would first assess the women's understanding on the topic. From here, I would supplement them with the contents within the module. This ultimately produced a lot of questions, ideas and gratitude about the training material. A lot of the women concluded that the reason they don't profit from their household income generating activities is because they don't record and account for every input that goes into a certain activity and output that comes out of the activity.
I have for sure learned a lot from the women sharing their stories, especially on the roles of men and women when it comes to financial decision-making within their households. I thank Africa Development Promise for giving me this opportunity to be able to o back to my home country and give back what I can. I hope the work I did will bring a positive impact to the women of this co-op.