The Kaloleni Village Community Bank (VICOBA)
The Kaloleni Village Community Bank (VICOBA) was an initiative of Team Vista Tanzania. Founded in 2013, the Bank at first aimed to help residents of Kaloleni, the community by the rubbish dump where Team Vista is located, but has now expanded to also include members from Moshi township.
Overseen by a board of 5 members, the VICOBA meets each Thursday morning at Team Vista House. Here, the 30 members gather to deposit money and make business connections. Loans are for a term of one year, interest free and can be to a value of up to three times the balance of the member has contributed. Members are expected to make regular repayments.
So far, all funds have been repaid, and at that at the start of 2014, there was a balance of over ten million Tanzanian shillings available to be borrowed by members. Funds are held by a local bank in Moshi, who do not charge any account keeping fees. The paperwork is kept meticulously and stored in a lock box secured by three different padlocks, requiring the three key-holders to be present to access it.
Members use the funds for a variety of purposes – buying land, purchasing equipment for businesses and paying school fees are among the most common. All agree that without the VICOBA, they would not be able to achieve their goals.
Team Vista is proud to support this important community venture, which has grown in members considerably in the recent past.