RMDC organized the third Regional Annual Review Workshop of its MFI Partners in Nepalgunj from January 27–28, 2015. The Workshop was attended by a total of 77 participants representing 36 Partner Organizations of Mid and Far Western Region.
The Fourth and last workshop was held in Biratnagar for Eastern Region partner MFIs from Februrary 9–10, 2015. The total no. of participants were 44 representing 24 MFIs. The participants were Chairpersons, Chief Executive Officers, Microfinance Operation Managers of MFIs and Cooperatives.
Both the workshops had been chaired by Mr. Joyti Chandra Ojha, Chief Executive Officer of RMDC. RMDC has been regularly organizing Annual Review Workshops of its partner MFIs for last twelve years. The objectives of the workshops were creating a forum for sharing experiences, review their operations, identify current problems and challenges, strengths and weaknesses and learn from each other's experiences and developing relationship and coordination among partner organizations (POs) of RMDC.
Both the workshops were coordinated by Ms Annapurna Shrestha, Manager of RMDC. In her welcome remarks, she highlighted the background and objective of the workshop and urged the participants to come up with workable strategies to cope with the problems and the challenges facing by the MFIs and cooperatives.
Acting Assistant General Manager of RMDC Mr. Ram Dayal Rajbansi highlighted the need to develop the capacity of microfinance institutions which in turn improve the quality of services to their clients. He also outlined the contribution of microfinance towards poverty alleviation in the regions. He said that the workshops had helped to develop cordial relation among the MFIs.
Speaking in the opening ceremony at Mid and Far Western Region Workshop Mr. Saugat Chuadhary, Executive Director of Grameen Mahila Uttahan Kendra, Dang and Mr. Dambar Bahadur Shah, Executive Director of Kisan Multipurpose Cooperative Ltd., Kailali said that the partner organizations of RMDC had been tremendously motivated to introduce microfinance best practices in their respective organizations. They learnt a lot from such workshops, they said. They explained that they would not have reached the stage where they are now if RMDC was not there to help, guide and boost up their morale.
Similarly, Mr. Tas Bahadur Shrestha, Executive Chairman of Karnali SCO, Jhapa, Mr. Narayan Joshi, Chairman of SOLVE, Dhankuta and Mr. Shyam Kanta Chaudhary, Executive Director of Mahuli Community Bittya Sanstha, Saptari has loudly applauded the guidance and the cooperation of RMDC to launch microfinance in their organizations. They said "Today, we are on our own, we earn from our business by rendering microfinance services to the poor which have helped them to get out of poverty. We no more depend on charity, donations and subsidy. We all have high morale today. It is because RMDC taught us microfinance and the importance of self reliance in an organization. We owe much to RMDC". They also said, "The training, supervision and follow up of RMDC had played great role in developing our institutions".
In his opening remarks, CEO of RMDC, Mr. Joyti Chandra Ojha expressed that this kind of workshop would provide feedback for improving RMDC's way of doing business and the developing strategies for future. He hoped, this kind of forum also facilitate sharing of experience between MFIs and would help reduce level of poverty in the country. He also urged the participants to scale up investment in the area that would promote employment opportunity for the unemployed youth. He wished that this forum would develop solidarity, unity and coordination among the MFIs.
On the first day of the workshop, the participating MFIs presented their progress, problems and challenges experienced and the various activities undertaken by them. The major problems and issues were identified on the presentation by the participants.
After presentation by the Microfinance Institutions, Acting Assistant General Manager of RMDC Mr. Ram Dayal Rajbanshi and Senior Manager Mr. Tirtha Ratna Konajo facilitated identification of problems. The major problems faced by MFIs are multiple financing, over indebtedness of clients, increasing default, high rate of clients dropout, inadequate supervision of clients, misuse of loan, staff dropout, etc.
On the second day, all the participating MFIs were divided into four groups. Each group has given topics for discussion on major problems. Manager of RMDC Mr. Pritha Bahadur Thapa has facilitated this session. Each group made recommendations for resolving the problem and specified responsible authority for implementation of the same. At the end each of the workshops came up with a pledge to improve the system of microfinance anddeliver quality services to the target families.
At the Eastern Region Workshop, Dr. Binod Atrey Executive Director of Microfinance Promotion & Supervision Department of Nepal Rastra Bank has made presentation on "Financial Literacy and the Good Governance". He urged the participants to educate their clients on financial matters of their enterprises and maintain good governance in the organizations by strictly following the rules and regulations and the directives of the Central Bank.
Manager of RMDC Mr. Roop Bahadur Khadka has facilitated the preparation of the Way Forward in the Mid and Far western Region. The workshop concluded in the Eastern region with ten points declaration by the participating MFIs.
The programs have been highly appreciated by the participants as the valuable forum for sharing and learning from each other experiences and problems.