The 9th Microfinance Training of Trainers course kicked off to a lively start on July 11, 2013 with 10 Global Distance Learning Centers in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Uganda hosting the course. Over 150 participants joined the opening session from the GDLN centers, and another 180 participants participated by going online and accessing the live webcasting of the session. Approximately 400 participants from 46 countries enrolled in the course, all enthusiastic to learn and explore the world of microfinance.
“Microfinance has potential to widen financial inclusion by bridging the needs and opportunities at the bottom of the economic pyramid and the resource of the financial sector,” said Dr. Anbumozhi, Capacity Building Specialist from the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) emphasizing the importance of microfinance as an effective tool for financial inclusion for the poor.
Representing the sponsoring institutions, TDLC Manager Naito Tomoyuki also emphasized the significance of microfinance as a multifaceted institution highly relevant to social and economic development and poverty alleviation; “Microfinance lies at the very cross road of development and finance, or social mission for poverty alleviation and sustainability as business,” he said.
The guest speaker for the session, Professor Stuart Rutherford, founder and Chairman of SafeSave, introduced the history of microfinance and took the participants on a virtual tour on what is actually practiced by the very poor in South Asian villages and towns. He also presented a case of a microcredit crisis that hit Andhra Pradesh in southern India in the recent years, and briefed on the Grameen Bank’s version of commitment savings, which helped the bank bounce back from a crisis brought on by too much lending.
The MFTOT course co-organized by TDLC, ADBI, and China Development Bank (CDB) provides a comprehensive, up-to-date training on microfinance, as well as the opportunity to share and exchange knowledge and network with others in different regions of the world. It is expected to strengthen and enrich the institution of microfinance and its practitioners’ community so that microfinance can better serve as an effective tool to provide financial access to those people in need, especially to those who are poor and vulnerable.
By applying the blended learning approach and leveraging on TDLC’s technical expertise, the MFTOT9 course provides accessible training on microfinance to a wider and greater number of participants all over the world. The new graduates who attain trainer status can train others. They are expected to serve as catalysts for positive change in their own countries, as have some of our past participants have done, furthering outreach and impact of the microfinance training.
Below are comments made by participants of MFTOT 9 after their first session;