The Basic Concept
Two pig is lent to the poorest families in a village.
The principle of the pig as a loan is a straightforward one. Instead of receiving a monetary amount, a poor family receives two pigs as a loan. The pigs concerned are for ‘meet production’ and it is seen as an income generating measure. The family that receives pigs through the project becomes responsible for them.
When the first 6 piglets are born, they must be ‘paid back’ to the project, after they has been weaned from the mother. From the repayment, the first 2 pigs becomes part of the family. The family may keep all other piglets borne of the pigs, thus gradually developing their own heard and with it the economic development of the family. The piglets given back to the pig bank as repayment become loan piglets to another poor family.
Supporting persons are recruited in every village that takes part in the project. One person takes care of the health of the pigs, and another is responsible for breeding. For a small fee, they offer a consultancy service to families on caring for their pigs and piglets and work with the village management. These persons receive proper training to prepare them to carry out their responsibilities effectively.
A Real Chance for Poor Families
The major advantage of this project is that the initial investment sustains itself and the project can be managed independently by local partners. The interest gained by the poor family that receives the pigs grows steadily, without the need for the investment of further capital. Beyond purely economic gains, the family involved gains a huge sense of encouragement; families that could never have afforded a pig themselves have an opportunity to improve their standard of living bit by bit, through their own efforts and with long term positive effects.
Questions about the pig bank
How do you select the families who will receive pigs?
The target group is poor families with the capability of raising pigs. Preference is given to families with a widowed parent, handicapped children, or a large number of children. Having learnt from other organizations, we observe the following principle:
A meeting takes place with the leaders of the village and the Village Chief. During this meeting the leaders learn about the project, discuss potential problems and the broad plan of action.
The project’s next meeting will involve the five poorest families. During the meeting we will explain the project and inform of the pigs that are available.
Every family may write 5 names, including their own, on a slip of paper which is folded and submitted. These five names represent who they feel most urgently needs a cow. All the submitted names are listed on a board so that everyone can easily see which five families are seen to be the neediest. The advantage of this method is that the entire process is transparent and all villagers...