Mongolia sits atop a vast amount of untapped natural resources. With China and Russia as its two powerful neighbours, Mongolia is positioned to become an exporting powerhouse. The sparsely populated nation is already growing fast, with its GDP expected to double by 2015.
The percentage of people living below the poverty line in Mongolia is 36.1%. In surrounding countries, this figure ranges from 8 – 16%. Poverty rates are dropping in urban centres, but in rural areas the country is seeing a three per cent increase, reaching 46.6 per cent.
While there are tens of thousands of active creditors in Mongolia, they operate mostly in urban areas and target the wealthy. There is great demand for credit from thousands of urban and rural poor who are denied access to finance. This is where we step in.
We are a microfinance institution with bold efforts and large regional impact. We search for innovative ways to reach more poor people with our financial services. Some of our initiatives and programmes include:
- The development of an ‘innovation team’, who will focus on defining, testing and implementing changes to improve financial and social bottom lines. Their work translates to greater efficiencies and smaller average loan sizes.
- The opening of additional rural branches, primarily located in development areas where World Vision works.
DULAMSUREN’S STORY: “RESURGENT HOPE AFTER DECADES”
Woman sitting in the street in front of her fence is Dulamsuren (49), mother of five with untiring efforts. She is selling traditional Mongolian boots and getting orders for repairing old boots from neighbours. She is famous in this the area as she can turn clapped-out boot into a brand new boot. She lives with her husband Tsendsuren (54), five children Munguntsetseg (27), Nyam (23), Naimanjin (17), Bayartogtokh (16), Jambal (14) and with her grandchild Tsengelbayar (4). Her husband Tsendsuren is unemployed and diseased, so he helps her to sole boots with felt and to hobnail boots staying at home. Losing her elder son who was a soldier, having her 2 daughters got injured in an accident few years ago and getting surgery for her bile seemed to her that life is giving her such a hard time. She moved to Ulaanbaatar, capital city of Mongolia from Khovd province 2 years ago after losing their all 150 livestock in Dzud (Mongolian term for a severe winter) which was only source of income. Medical fee, food cost and cost for school were high to afford for her who came to the city for the first time. “Secondary school that my children used go was closed down, so I came to the capital city because I wanted my children get educated” shares Dulamsuren.
A year ago, she first heard of Equipment project implemented from World Vision and VisionFund which gave her opportunity to get 811$ for buying an electrical sewing machine, as her grandchild is a sponsored child from WVM. She received subsidiary of half cost of the machine from World Vision and equipment loan of 405$ from VisionFund. “For seven years I have tried to get credit access to buy sewing machine which can expand my business. But I could not access to it. Thanks God, I got this help” says excitedly Dulamsuren.
Besides, repairing and soling boots, making traditional Mongolian and Buryat ethnic boots by artificial leather, she sews Deel* by silk which she learned from her mother and even makes ropes by camel’s long hair on the throat which is very taut and used a lot for making Gers (Mongolian traditional portable dwelling- one room home made entirely of woods carrying a felt cover and with no access to water or heat). “I like doing business in the city because there I can sell my product by cash. When I was in Khovd province I used to barter by livestock. 1 pair of boot costs even 1 lamb” shares Dulamsuren.
Working on the sewing machine, her productivity got increased a lot. She began to sew additional patterns on the boots which make it more beautiful and produce more number of deels. Now she has many clients including her neighbours and acquaintances. “Thanks to this project, now I got back on my feet being able to send my children to school and afford all their facilities for studies. Also I am planning to send my elder son Naimanjin to the state university after his graduation this year” beams Dulamsuren.
In the further she plans to open her own small workshop in their yard and to buy more artificial leather to make traditional Mongolian boots in order to supply bigger market by taking out the second loan from Vision Fund.