GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF AKHUWAT
Akhuwat provides the economically poor with interest free loans so that they may acquire a self-sustaining livelihood. It also provides the skills and support they need to actualize their full potential and abilities.
Linkages with Religious Places:
An important and novel idea associated with individual loans is the use of the local mosque/church infrastructure as the center for loan disbursement and as an avenue for community participation.
Spirit of volunteerism:
The spirit of volunteerism that Akhuwat’s management and its team members exhibit is indicative of the success Akhuwat achieved within a short span of time.
Transforming borrowers into donors:
Akhuwat encourages its borrowers to donate to Akhuwat’s program and so help their brethren once the borrowers themselves have gained enough economic stability. However these donations are neither compulsory nor have any bearing on the borrower’s credit profile.
Originally the Member Donation Program [MDP] was not part of Akhuwat’s operation however the idea evolved after a borrower, who had successfully managed to secure a sustainable livelihood for himself, insisted on contributing to Akhuwat so that the organization could continue to help others like him. His generosity and tenacity struck the Akhuwat staff as an exemplary realization of the culture which the organization had been trying to promote. Efforts at poverty eradication are not manifested in improved income levels alone but they must seek to inspire a change in society. The transformation of borrowers into donors is one indicator of the change Akhuwat had envisaged. Over time this practice has institutionalized the culture under the Member Donation Program. However while borrowers are encouraged to join the program, their contributions have no impact on their loan approvals nor are the contributions compulsory or enforced.