Small-scale farmers do not have access to traditional banking institutions, which require a lot of paperwork and collateral. INADES-Formation Togo, an African development NGO specializing in training and support, has set up long-term self-financing instruments such as Socially Responsible Funds for Development (FONSDEV). A FONSDEV is a community-based savings and loan organization. These make it possible to leverage financial resources in the form of savings and redistribute them as microloans to community members.
Three FONSDEV organizations offer community services to more than 800 members, 39% of them women, in southeastern Togo.
In order to operate on a long-term basis and earn recognition from the Togolese Ministry of Economics and Finance, these community institutions need computers and reliable access to power. INADES-Formation Togo has decided to use solar electrification to replace the generators currently being used by FONSDEV organizations. Installing solar kits will make these institutions more independent and help them shore up their activities.
Setting up a side business for charging cell phones will help pay for the maintenance on these kits.
The funding from the Foundation will be used to buy and install solar panels at Socially Responsible Development Funds in three villages in the Maritime Region in southeastern Togo.