CEP - Capital Fund for Employment for the Poor

I had the opportunity to visit a commune that was part of CEP Vietnam and also visit the CEP office. CEP Vietnam is a microfinance project located in HCMC, providing small loans to poor women. Loans are given out to groups of 5; the women must ensure that each member in their group repay the monthly installements or else they will not get further loans. The benefit of this set-up is that it encourages the women to work together and help each other with their with their farms. At the same time, it is a self-enforcement mechanism so that leaves the agency can use resources normally intended for regulating program into other uses.

Along with the loan, CEP also requires the loan recipients to attend a one day introduction course. The course provides information about the regulations and rules of the credit scheme, and emphasis is placed on ensuring the women understand the importance of the scheme. After the introduction, women can attend classes with other agencies for training courses and agricultural assistance. There are also two technical training courses provided per year. Some of the long term goals of CEP includes providing a vocational training centre, sanitation improveement and money to improve houses by the year 2005.

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