Right Sharing of World Resources Annual Reports
The text of recently received Annual Reports are below, with the most recently received at the top and older reports below. To jump to a particular report, simply click the year listed below.
Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR) works to redistribute resources from the United States to women’s groups in India, Kenya, and Sierra Leone to fund individual micro-enterprise projects. This work is grounded in a sense of stewardship for the world’s material, human, and spiritual resources.
A short review of our work in 2020:
The COVID-19 pandemic hit RSWR partner countries very hard. RSWR carried on by being as flexible as possible and responding to needs as they arose. 32 groups received a RSWR seed grant in 2020, and 887 women received a loan from those grant funds. As partner women’s businesses were affected by lockdowns and economic restrictions, RSWR donors responded with food aid for all 2018- and 2019-funded groups to carry them through the quarantine months. Later, additional funding was provided to women’s groups that needed help restarting their businesses after the lockdown was lifted. COVID-19 training was added to the business training offerings in all partner countries.
RSWR hired a new assistant field representative in Sierra Leone, a position that will allow more time for monitoring and supporting funded groups.
In 2020, the board began strategic planning by exploring the legacy of empire and colonialism in RSWR’s work at home and with partner countries. With the guidance of Lisa Graustein, a New England Yearly Meeting Friend, RSWR staff and board members examined: “What are our values and core beliefs? What have our actions been? In what ways might our core values be in conflict with the way we facilitate our programs?” Through self-inquiry exercises, staff, field representatives, and board members are noticing hitherto invisible cultural habits and finding new ways of moving forward together.
God calls us to the right sharing of world resources, from the burdens of materialism and poverty into the abundance of God's love to work for equity through partnerships with our sisters and brothers throughout the world.
No report received.
Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR) has been a small Quaker NGO (non-governmental organization) for many years. It grew out of Friends World Committee for Consultation, (FWCC) the world-wide body of Friends that links virtually all Yearly Meetings and Associations. For many years it was administered by FWCC but about 2005 FWCC determined that it could no longer do this. In the years since it has grown an independent Board of Directors and expanded its base of programming to include groups of women in India, Kenya, and Sierra Leone.
The RSWR Board (25 in number) is made up of mostly Friends who are appointed through our nominations process and serve for period of 3 years with a second and 3rd term optional. Unlike FGC yearly meetings do not appoint representatives to the Board.
The Program Committee (PC) takes the lead on managing the selection of grant recipients for India, Kenya and Sierra Leone and developing criteria for quality and sustainable projects via monitoring and evaluation (our latest initiative). Based on the Program Committee's recommendations the Board approves grants on an average of $100,000 in the fall and in the spring granting cycles. The PC is also responsible for helping hold up the spiritual dimension of RSWR's work which includes asking Friends with wealth capacity to consider 'what does it mean to have enough'? The other committees are governance that includes strategic planning and nominations and finance/development.
The program cycle works like this: Groups of women in India, Kenya and Sierra Leone apply for grants. The PC selects groups which work with women in their communities to identify individuals for loans for micro-businesses. These groups are funded using funds donated by people like us. The women run their businesses and pay back their loans to the regional grantor, which then re-invests the proceeds into more loans.
RSWR puts out a quarterly newsletter that features information about our women partners and usually another highlight story such an update on the long held stamp collection project from California to First Friends of Indianapolis.
The RSWR website: www.rswr.org has general information. You might contact Genevieve Beck-Roe, Communications & Development about being added to a mailing list (electronic or hard copy) email@example.com. Jackie Stillwell of Monadnock Meeting (NEYM) and former head of the Meeting School is currently serving as General Secretary.
Please, please, please, visit the web site for more information, and to make donations. RSWR is one of the best programs I have seen at helping people use a little to create a lot. www.rswr.com For more info, please contact the web site, or Genevieve Beck-Roe firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Adrian Bishop (Baltimore, Stony Run)
No report received.
No report received.
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No report received.
Micro-finance: a blessing, or a millstone?
Right Sharing of World Resources has been carefully following the news and stories of abuse within the micro finance field, and industry. And ‘industry’ it has become. What started as a good idea by a compassionate economist with the belief that the very poor would put to good use a micro loan enabling them to create their own steps out of poverty – an idea which led to the Nobel Peace Prize – has been abused by some. Stories of people committing suicide because the outlandish interest rates pushed them into despair and defeat have leaped off the pages of newspaper and magazines, unfortunately leaving a negative impression among all organizations that deal with micro finance.
Right Sharing has worked with women’s income-generating self-help groups for almost fifty years. We started out very tiny, and remain still, quite small – most especially in comparison to most other organizations. Right Sharing has been driven by Quaker testimonies of faith and practice which is a major distinguishing factor. There are other factors to consider:
•Right Sharing is non- profit….we are a charity;
•Right Sharing is not a bank, nor a collection agency;
•Right Sharing gives grants, not loans. The grants go directly to the women’s self- help groups which are lent out as loans. The loans are repaid at interest rates set by the women’s groups themselves, but not to exceed two percent a month, nor over twelve months;
•Right Sharing gives grants only to women’s groups, not individuals, which have been established with a purpose of supporting each other. The groups also receive training and mentoring which significantly reduces the risk of failure.
In the second quarter newsletter in 2011, Right Sharing published an article written by Dr. Kannan, RSWR’s field representative in India, providing readers with a view of how and why these organization operate, and how, in contrast, Right Sharing-sponsored projects operate. We are proud of our work among women we have been serving since 1999 as an independent non-profit, and since 1967 as a committee of FWCC (Friends World Committee for Consultation). We want you, our donors and supporters, to be proud as well. The following is that article
Situation of RSWR funded partner NGOs and their revolving fund distribution
RSWR partner NGOs apply for grants after they have had discussions with the participants and beneficiaries of the projects. These discussions cover such topics as exactly what activities will be undertaken, how much the women will contribute, how much is needed for the revolving fund, how much is needed from RSWR, and the interest rate for the revolving fund. When the women decide about interest, they stay strictly within the limit of 18%. Hence, the burden of repayment is not high or a threat to them.
The revolving fund is given to the beneficiaries for a purpose that generates income in a certain period, and on a regular basis. Hence, the repayment is quite affordable to the women. The regular installment payment, the interest rate, and the timing of the loan repayment are all fixed by the women themselves, who make this as flexible as possible. None of this is forced upon them. Hence, the beneficiaries are involved in the project, and undertake the income-generation activities as per their own decision and need.
As they develop their project, the need and resources are identified, capacity building and skill training is carried out, they develop their own self-styled monitoring and supervisory system to ensure prompt repayments, and they evolve rules to help defaulters. They will develop their own rules for handling delayed repayments and family situations. The self-help group members will give time to the women who delay repayments or could not repay a particular installment. Everything is theirs. Where is the question of threatening the individual woman? The women in their self-help groups know the situation, they live adjacent to their family, and they will ensure that the money is repaid and the initiated project is going on as planned.
To sum up, RSWR projects target marginalized families among the poor, enable the women to start their own income-generation activity, and assure that the project is appropriate and suitable to local conditions and markets. RSWR partner NGOs build women’s skills, knowledge and capacities in their income-generation activities. Then, and only then, is the revolving fund started. The women then engage in the income-generation activities, make income, and repay their revolving fund to their own groups or federation or committees in which all the beneficiaries are members. The NGO partner’s aim is to support women’s income-generation activity, not to give loans and ask the women to repay the loan back to the NGO, like the MFCs!
For more information, go to www.rswr.org
No report received.
Report to Yearly Meetings - 2010
Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR) is an independent, Quaker organization which provides financial support in the form of grants, to new, small organizations working with the poorest of the poor (including Quakers) around the world. RSWR is an independent organization and, as such, does not have representatives from yearly meetings. However, half of the yearly meetings in the United States provide direct support, and RSWR receives individual support from within virtually all yearly meetings in the US. For that reason, this report is provided, to be used and distributed, as deemed appropriate, within the yearly meeting.
Like many non-profits, RSWR saw a partial financial recovery from the financial downturn of 2008-2009. At the same time, RSWR was able to continue its level of support to its grant-making work and to see significant developments with its capital campaign, which was begun July 1, 2008. For 2009, RSWR notes the following highlights:
• Total income of $426,100
• Total expense of $438,350
• $272,945 to directly support grants, training, and support to local organizations
• Grants to 51 organizations in south India, Kenya, and Sierra Leone, representing direct support to 750-1,000 women.
• In October, 2009 initiated the Kenya field staff program with the engagement of Samson Ababu. The south India field staff program, with Dr. R. Kannan, was begin in July, 2008.
• Reached the half-way point of our $2.3 million capital campaign to move RSWR to a new level of programming.
• Moved resources from the support of in-person RSWR presentations to the support of an electronic communications program, to be initiated in July, 2010.
The heart of RSWR is a partnership. On one side of the partnership are Quakers here in the United States, and other persons of faith who seek to live more justly, and who provide capital to help support micro-enterprise projects. On the other side of the partnership are women’s self-help groups who, with the guidance of local non-governmental organizations and by their participation in the self-help group, implement the micro-enterprise project.
This is what distinguishes the work of RSWR and some other faith-based groups from many other micro-enterprise groups. The wealth that RSWR redistributes from Americans to the poorest of the poor is a grant of capital. RSWR understands that God calls us to jubilee justice, to wealth redistribution. Our partners who receive the grant are women’s self-help groups who hold and manage the funds in common, making loans to members to implement small-scale, income-generating businesses, and increasing their wealth, their lives, and the well-being of their families.