One of the challenges of economic development in Myanmar is gaining access to reasonably priced loans. The poor are often victimized by loans with interest rates of 40-80% on money borrowed, hidden behind obscure terms and redtape, creating a new type of indentured servitude from which the borrower is likely not to escape.
MCF provided small livelihood loans between $150-$200 with 3% interest to the families of children attending Shan Chaung Monastic School, in return for the promise to keep their children in school. This pilot program ran successfully in 2009-2010 with 14 farming and fishing families. After 12 months, the payback rate was 100%. Local families improved their livelihoods and their food supply while their children continued in school. A win-win for the community!