Lack of capital is a challenge to many youth and community at large. Through saving and investment groups, it is possible to get capital for business establishment. YPM has established saving groups known as Peace Makers VICOBA (PM-VICOBA). Today we have approximately 120 groups across Tanga region.
VICOBA is agronomy for “Village Community Bank”. It consists of 15-30 community members coming together in saving and investing their money. Each week members have to buy shares in the bank, and the money collected is distributed as loans for group members. A member can take loans three times of the value of his or her shares in the group, and the interest rate is low compared to the commercial banks. In this way VICOBA gives poor communities access to credit for investment opportunities and development.
YPM do not run the VICOBA groups, they are completely community owned. Our main task is to train and create awareness about VICOBA, and educate people on market orientation and running of business so they invest VICOBA-money in projects which are income generating.
PM-VICOBA groups are transparent and democratically run. The group leadership comprises chairperson, secretary, treasurer, two money counters, and three keys keepers. Every group is autonomous with its constitution, and decides on days to meet, the cost of shares and members to enroll.