Thanks to the support of the China Association for NGO Cooperation (CANGO) and the German Church Development Service (EED), the Association for Rural Development of Yilong (ARDY) successfully held a strategic development and training session for Yilong county's mutual groups. This event was held from December 12th to 15th, 2009 in ARDY's second floor conference room.
This meeting was attended by the leaders of Yilong county's 16 mutual fund groups and by the village party secretaries. The most important activities conducted at this meeting are detailed below:
First, the mutual group leaders and the party secretaries were divided into groups to discuss three major themes: building mutual fund groups and enlarging membership; mutual fund group management and services; and the organizational benefits of joint production, sales, and marketing. The groups were encouraged to be self-reflective and to candidly assess their performance since establishment, three to four years ago.
Second, the groups were introduced to the Taiwan Provincial Farmers' Association leadership and development model.
Third, the groups were trained and guided in divvying up and allocation their annual sums.
Fourth, using a participatory process, the groups crafted fiscal year 2010 budgets and operational plans.
Fifth, drawing upon the initial plan drafted in the groups, ARDY and the mutual groups drew up a plan as to how the Association could help to support the mutual groups such that they could actualize their plans.
Sixth, the mutual fund groups completed their annual report and all required end-of-year activities and plans.
Seventh, participants were encouraged and motivated.
During the session, mutual group leaders and party secretaries threw themselves body and soul into the conference proceedings, eagerly giving statements, never shying away from their mistakes. Zhi Ji mutual finance group particularly shared their experiences over the past years, elucidating the problems they have faced, as well as their successes, with the hopes that other groups can learn from their experiences.
At the conclusion of the three-day training session the mutual fund group members were left with a positive experience and their hard-work is certain to have a deep and lasting impacting, giving them a clear direction for their future efforts.
The volunteers from the YouChange and Yilong partnership also attended the events.