The project was to provide loans for housing improvement and to assist those in need and others living in harsh housing conditions by offering aid to build new houses (107 houses) and repair old ones (238) and to furnish these houses with the appropriate hygienic and housing conditions.
The project was carried out with the participation of the NGOs represented in the Better Life Association for Comprehensive Development (BLACD), located in the city of al-Minya, the people and the popular leaders, with support from international donor institutions.
The project managed to attain its objectives through house upgrading and providing appropriate housing conditions for those in need. It did not seek only to provide solutions for individuals or promote private ownership, but surpassed microcredit objectives by developing and enhancing social capital through the spirit of collective work. These comprehensive and collective dimensions have made al-Sawada Village Project a model for future experiences.
The chief lessons learnt from al-Sawada Village Project are:
The importance of cooperation and participation between individuals of the community and the creation of the volunteerism,
The importance of establishing a training methodology for workers and local leaders during the planning stage of any project,
The importance of making use of, and enhancing social capital in the development process,
Determination of the benefactors’ needs as essential,
The benefit of the awareness courses for the community.
The project managed to create a state of psychological tranquility, peace and security for the families benefiting from the project. Hence, some surrounding villages have asked for a similar project. BLACD accordingly seeks to apply the experience in another five villages in al-Minya Governorate. In addition, the experience can be transferred and applied in several communities and regions that live similar circumstances. BLACD seeks to attain greater success for the project by means of increasing the value of the loans in the future.
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