Thrift and Credit Groups and Community Development: the Hope Project in New Delhi/India

  • Heiko Schrader (Autor/in)


Recent approaches to micro-finance hold that poor people are able to save. Access to capital by means of saving or credit opens up opportunities to participate in the street economy and helps bridging problems of everyday-life. Without savings people usually depend upon expensive credit from moneylenders. Various NGOs nowadays take the approach "savings first, then credit". In this paper the authors argue that such programs do not only provide an end by itself; they are also meansto achieve broader goals. The Hope Project in New Delhi puts such program into the context of community development. In first step Muslim women's thrift and credit groups are formed to increase mutual trust in the neighbourhood. In second step these women may join handicraft cooperative and escape domestic marginalization by productive activity. The paper describes the process of institutionalizing women's thrift and credit groups.