Institute of micro-finance and cooperative development.

Sahara Nepal Team Learn From IDF- Bangladesh

CSD organized an exposure/ study visit to Bangladesh from July 11-19, 2016. The cooperating agency for the program in Bangladesh was Integrated Development Foundation (IDF), Bangladesh. The team of 10 officials of Sahara Nepal SACCOS Ltd.- was led by Ms. Renu Prajapati- Training Officer of CSD.

The team observed different centre meetings of Grameen Bank and IDF, interacted with the members, visited their households and had discussions in their branches, and zonal offices. The team visited the head Office of IDF and Grameen Bank in Mirpur- Dhaka. The team also visited branch office and zonal office of Grameen Bank in Chittagong, and Central Coordination Office (CCO) of IDF in Chittagong and branch office of IDF in Satkania. Moreover the participants visited credit plus IDF health program, agriculture program, school program and solar program. The team got the opportunity to visit Ramu branch which is located in one of the remote area of Bangladesh. The branch is solely dedicated to distributing solar to its members, as the government of Bangladesh is unable to distribute electricity over there. IDF has initiated the program to remove the darkness in the remote area, and IDF has solar call centre facility in CCO office where members can report their problem over telephone and their problems are solved as soon as possible. The government of Bangladesh has also appreciated this program of IDF. Similarly the team got exposed to IDF School program, where children of members as well non- members are taking part. Though there are many government schools in remote areas, IDF has initiated the program to aware the poor people about education. The health centre of IDF is just behind the school in Satkania village. In addition to this, the team also visited Red Chittagong cow's project and two household projects of IDF ultra poor clients and cow farming. The participants were highly motivated by these programs of IDF. The team also appreciated The Grameen Bank for providing shares to its members and all members are the owner of The Grameen Bank.  The way of doing microfinance operations have changed with the passing of time and the team got exposed to how MFIs in Bangladesh have evolved themselves into sustainable institutions through time focusing on plus activities.

In post visit review, participants shared their experience, they were impressed and overwhelmed by the hospitality of Bangladeshi people. The exposure visit was taken very positively by all the participants. Mr Ishwor Pd. Bhattarai said- "The visit gave me an opportunity to know new techniques and methodologies of operating microfinance programs". Ms Yashoda Prasai said- "The members and employees loyalty towards their jobs and organization is remarkable". Mr. Shyam Pd. Dahal was very much impressed by the hospitality shown by the members and clients of the MFIs visited in Bangladesh. Mr. Ram Narayan Pradhan shared that the most impressive work of IDF he felt was providing micro-enterprise training to their clients as per their requirement. Mr. Yubraj Niraula said- "The micro credit plus activities are more important along with the micro credit program" for the sustainability of microfinance program in the long term.