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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Micro Credit on an interest free basis

Daily News: 15/08/2005"

MERCI Lanka Foundation has been formed recently by a group of Muslim professionals and businessmen. The prime mover and the Chairman of the Organization M.S.M. Liyawdeen, former Deputy General Manager of Bank of Ceylon explained that MERCI stood for Micro Enterprise Relief Credit Initiative. The primary objective of the NGO is to provide Micro Credit on an Interest Free basis to poor bread winners especially women who posess some skills, ability and the will to embark on self employed cottage industries, agricultural pursuits, animal husbandry and poultry farming projects.

Liyawdeen also explained that the recipients of credit facilities will be selected from amongst the deserving from all communities. He explained that Islam emphasized on the need to be helpful to humanity irrespective of creed or race.

Our aim in encompassing those worthy of help from all communities is also to promote goodwill harmony and mutual trust among all segments of the Sri Lankan society, which we trongly feel is the crying need of the hour.

Although our initial effort towards poverty alleviation is minuscule in comparison to the magnitude of the problem, we anticipate the lead given by us will inspire other like minded people to launch similar schemes.

The Grameen Micro Credit scheme has won world-wide acclaim as a success story in helping the down trodden specially women in Bangladesh.

The Trustees are arranging to offer around one hundred loans ranging between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 25,000, initially. Currently applications are being processed to select 10 potential borrowers from each community who will be granted the loans at the launch ceremony to be held in September 2005.

The Trustees of MERCI Lanka also express their desire to work in collaboration with any locally based social, cultural or religious organizations which could facilitate the task of obtaining information and background of applicants monitoring and recovering of loans and marketing of products, etc. All those willing to extend their co-operation and need information or loan applications are kindly requested to contact the Secretary-General S. Najmudeen at their office No. 21, Dr. E.A. Cooray Mawatha, Colombo-06, email: mercilanka@bizemail.com


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