Rubber Tapper puts Village Savings to use

John Gbeinah is 43 years old and a rubber tapper who has 11 children

“I decided to use $600 Liberian Dollars of my savings to buy cups used to collect latex from the rubber tree when I tap it” explained one of ten male beneficiaries of the Village Savings and Loan Association in Ulah District in Bong County.

John Gbeinah is 43 years old and a rubber tapper who has 11 children. Mr. Gbeinah was among ten men and 40 women who were trained in business management under UNDP Kokoyah Millennium Village Savings and loan Association Project in Newton, Ulah District, Bong County in Central Liberia.

Highlights

  • Since the creation of the two Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLAs); namely KONDOE and LOKIAMUE in Newtown and U-Lah in Boisen sub district, funds raised by members through petty trade and loan disbursement to beneficiaries, amount to over one million Liberian dollars ($1,341,950.00).
  • For the first time in the history of members of the two associations, two separate bank accounts where social funds are deposited were opened with the Liberia Bank for Development Investment (LBDI) branch in Gbarnga, Bong County, thus facilitating access to a financial Institution by local community groups in the Millennium Village.

With a savings of $9,525 Liberian dollars and a micro-loan of $12,000, the rubber tapper says in addition to purchasing the rubber cups for use on his rubber trees, he was able to buy 500 “spots which he inserted on the rubber trees to start tapping the latex and also hired 500 members of a “coo” group to brush his rubber farm.

“I produce three (3) bags of rubber from the smaller farm after one round of tapping. After that, I bring it to town and sell to the rubber brokers at the price of $4,800 Liberian dollars and then use the money from the sale of rubber to continue putting money into my VSLA savings and to pay back my loan”.

The father of 11 says sale from his rubber has helped him send his children to school and he’s now working towards building a new home for him and his family.

“I decided to buy five (5) gallons of gasoline and oil and hire a chain saw operator to start building my new house, since the one I currently live in is in bad shape. I now have 125 pieces of wood for the house” Mr. Gbeinah happily boasted.

Overwhelmed with the feeling of being a man who is able to put roof over the head of his family, he explained that the loan in particular has been very helpful in building his rubber tapping business skills, while the business management training has contributed immensely in assisting him manage his resources.

“I really love the VSLA because we did not really know how to use money. We just spend money carelessly with no good results”.

Since the creation of the two Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLAs); namely KONDOE and LOKIAMUE in Newtown and U-Lah in Boisen sub district, funds raised by members through petty trade and loan disbursement to beneficiaries, amount to over one million Liberian dollars ($1,341,950.00).

Out of this amount, the rate of reimbursed loans account for $754, 720 Liberian dollars, while the total amount of interest earned was $268, 390 Liberian dollars.

For the first time in the history of members of the two associations, two separate bank accounts where social funds are deposited were opened with the Liberia Bank for Development Investment (LBDI) branch in Gbarnga, Bong County, thus facilitating access to a financial Institution by local community groups in the Millennium Village.

 

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