By Elias Hakizimana.
Uwalimu Savings and Credits Cooperative (SACCO) has achieved its planned activities at 89% this year in line with improving welfare of teachers.
The cooperative gained Rwf5 billion profit in 2018.
This was revealed by Umwalimu SACCO Director General Laurence Uwambaje during the general assembly in Kigali that was assessing this year’s achievements and next year action plan and budget.
She said that all planed activities during this year were achieved at 89 percent, and others that were not achieved relating to technology are still in process. These are like mobile banking to tackle a challenge of proximity facing the members.
“We injected a lot of efforts in retrieving the money of members that was lost and the retrieved money contributed 23 percent of our profit; and this gives a hope to recover all the loans as we continue putting more efforts,” Uwambaje said.
She said that one of the challenges umwalimu sacco still facing is long-term loans given to teachers, that contribute to delay of payment.
“We give the loan to a teacher basing on his/her salary and the challenge comes when the teacher commit crimes and sacked before repayment. But when he/she is not sacked the loan is paid back without any other challenge,” said Uwambaje.
She also said that they wanted to tackle a challenge of proximity of services to the members.
Currently, the maximum loan allowance to a teacher is Rwf 35 million basing on his/her salary and extra sources of income. “We first assess if these income sources are regular and consistent to give him/her such amount of money,” she said.
The interest rate on this loan is 11 percent, Uwambaje said, that it is a good facility as other banks charge 20 percent.
Umwalimu sacco has over 70,000 members.
Marcelline Mukandamage, the head teacher at EPA Kalilisi in Bugesera is one of beneficiaries of Umwalimu sacco.
She said that one challenge for new teachers who need to join umwalimu sacco is to get the clearance documents from their previous banks.
Mukandamage herself has benefited from Umwalmu sacco loan where she was given Rwf2 millon and built a house.
“Teachers rejected fear is embraced the culture of requesting the loans as 11 percent interest rate is not a problem. We were struggling on small salaries survival but now we can build a sustainable life using the loans,” she said.
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