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Microfinance - Village Community Banks in Kilimanjaro

Internship and Volunteering Possible
Village Community Banks (Vicoba) are an important instrument of development work, because they allow people, who do not have access to conventional bank accounts, funds for financing their projects in the fields of agriculture, small entrepreneurship, education for their children and also provide basic security capabilities in the event of serious diseases and other claims. Volunteers/Interns in this area should have a background in finance, management, entrepreneurship, or other related fields of work.

Project Details


What is your placement organisation doing?

Many people living in rural areas of Tanzania are unable to obtain even small amounts of money in the form of bank loans due to their lack of collateral. This is one of the biggest obstacles to development in the region. The so-called "Village Community Banks", abbreviated to "VICOBAs", are committed to providing these people with greater financial stability and economic independence by self-managing and distributing available funds within a group or village community in the form of microcredits. Each group consists of 25 to 30 members living in the same village or neighborhood. The membership is not limited to women, but about 95 percent of the members in the Kilimanjaro region are female.
The concept of VICOBA has three main advantages:
  • The members of a VICOBA group can implement entrepreneurial ideas or projects through access to micro-credit, e.g. Farming (such as growing corn or vegetables, horticulture, keeping livestock and cattle, or beekeeping), opening a small shop / restaurant / food stall, manufacturing craft products, etc., creating a source of income for themselves and their families. In addition, microcredit can provide access to education, e.g. to pay school fees or incidentals such as school uniforms and books.
  • VICOBAs increase self-confidence: Through regular meetings and training, the involved women and men can expand their knowledge of finance, administration and entrepreneurship, becoming active members of their community.
  • VICOBAs provide their members with an insurance fund to cover basic healthcare costs or other unavoidable difficulties that require rapid availability of funds.

How can you get involved?

We work in the Kilimanjaro region with various microfinance organizations, each serving different VICOBA groups. They all pursue the goal of promoting economic independence and social justice. Activities include consultancy and mentoring, e.g. for starting companies or developing projects and products; Assisting in the development of business plans, strategy development, development of conflict resolution strategies within groups, assistance with supervision, adherence to members' internal statutes of VICOBAs, marketing, evaluations, trainings and workshops. As a volunteer or intern you can expect a variety of tasks from all areas!
Are you a business enthusiast and are you interested in starting companies, or in finances? Then you are exactly right. As a volunteer or trainee, you should have a background in finance, management, entrepreneurship or other related fields to get the most out of your field of expertise.

Your Impact: The contribution you make at your placement

As a volunteer or intern, you are actively contributing to the development of opportunities of income-generation and funding in rural Tanzania. You help people and their families who do not have access to conventional bank accounts and funds to sustain their livelihood.

A typical week in your facility:

You work in your VICOBA organization from Monday to Friday. The working hours are itypically about 8am to 5pm. In case of field visits at VICOBA groups, the working hours can be a bit longer. The exact scope of tasks can be adapted to your interests and are usually varied.

Which are your main tasks?

Possible assignments for interns (depending on the VICOBA organization in which you work):
  • Customer care and service
  • Assistance in conducting trainings, workshops and information events (for example on corporate governance, corporate planning and / or accounting)
  • Support of strategy development at newly established VICOBAs
  • Visits to small businesses and evaluations
  • Marketing
  • Creating loan appraisals, credit monitoring
  • Administration
  • Project planning etc.
If you prefer certain tasks, you can spend more time on just one or certain areas of activity in consultation with the project manager.
Info Box
Location: Moshi, Tanzania
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 1 Month
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: Swahili
Shared Accommodation, Host Family, Hotel
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Financier, Community Developer
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
No formal qualification required
Further Contribution To Project: Yes, 35 USD/week
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: Relevant expertise
Further Contribution To Project: Yes, 17.50 usd/week for experienced professional volunteers
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?

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