The current I.G.A. (Income Generating Activities) microcredit model within the Rainbow project is the outcome of four years of endeavours, which have lead to a microfinancing organisation able to match the main goal of the project: supporting the families hosting orphans. The model is still dynamic and opened to improvements.
After having spent five months in Zambia working together with the organisations involved in the Rainbow microcredit scheme, I am presenting the results of my research in this survey. The research had a double target: on one hand to describe the Rainbow microcredit model, on the other to evaluate the impact of the programme on the families involved through some statistic data.
The research aims to find out the practical guidelines followed by the microcredit operators, and to explain the reasons why the current methods are preferred to the many possible others. The survey may therefore be useful to whoever is willing to implement this microcredit model outside the Rainbow operative area, without the chance to spend some months in Zambia.
It is also interesting to know the real impact of IGA on the livelihood of the people financed. By collecting some data through a field research, it was possible to draw a statistic profile of the participants to the programme, and to compare it to the situation of the clients who completed the programme. The comparison gives an evaluation of the benefits that IGA are taking into the families involved.
The limited length of time spent in Zambia did not allow me to follow the same group through all the programme steps, from the selection to the completed repayment of the loans. Hence data are referred to several groups at different stages of the programme. If this could be an obstacle to the linearity of the research, it also enriches the statistic sample by extending it to a wider number of people.
An introduction to the Rainbow model is needful to a better comprehension of this microcredit scheme. Microcredit within the Rainbow model is just a part of a more complex structure, which is assisting the orphans using different tools. It is therefore necessary to set the IGA model into its operative framework.