A micro-credit scheme was one of the first activities put into place once the Paradise Centre was created back in 1999. This is a typical problem of the local situation, no loan or banking systems available, and in any case no possibility of a democratic access to loan systems.
The women, who are usually in charge of the family budget, and faced with difficult living conditions, are the very basis of emancipation and autonomy. The idea of failing to provide for their children is an impossible prospect, so they have to be more than competent in managing the family income, that is, when there is one to manage.
When this becomes too difficult to manage, a certain percentage of women are then given access to a micro-credit scheme, the Paradise one amongst others. At least a hundred women, and therefore several thousand people in total, benefit from the Paradise’s micro-credit scheme.
After several years of good management, the system is well anchored and the inevitable step where the micro-credit scheme can be turned into a Mutual is underway. It is important that this mini cooperative-bank should become independent and managed by the beneficiaries themselves.
The process should be completed within a few months, and should open up new perspectives for future projects, for example the creation of cooperatives and financing of support projects for women’s associations.