Sunday, November 27, 2016

Self-funding charity club helps retired teachers escape poverty

For 10 years, the Club of Retired Teachers in Sa Đéc City in the Mekong province of Đồng Tháp has looked after their own. Determined to prevent fellow teachers from falling into poverty, in 2007 the club members began offering no-interest loans.
Nguyễn Văn Mốt, Chairman of the club and manager of the fund, discusses with a club’s member about businesses members can pursue. VNS File Photo
Starting with initial capital of over VNĐ81 million, the club has since increased their loans to more than a total of VNĐ200 million, providing support to more than 200 members.
Under the club’s regulations, members are provided no-interest loans of VNĐ5 million to VNĐ10 million each, with loan terms lasting up to 12 months. The club has also provided members with advice, helping them identify businesses they can pursue.
Nguyễn Văn Mốt, chairman of the club and manager of the fund, says that most of the retired teachers pay back the loans within three to six months.
Huỳnh Thị Ngôn, 57, a retired teacher from Hoà Khánh Primary School in Sa Đéc, says she was one of the first to receive financial support from the “charity bank”.
In mid-2007, her family faced financial problems and could not pay tuition for her son who had passed the admission exam for Vĩnh Long Finance – Economics College. She then received a VNĐ4 million no-interest loan from the club to help her son attend school.
Ngôn has received a total of VNĐ16 million in loans from the club on four separate occasions. The money helped her set up a fruit stand at Sa Đec Market.

“Now that my family has escaped from difficult economic conditions, I’d like to contribute something to the fund to help other retired teachers who are facing challenges,” she says.


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