Find Your Feet (FYI) is a local NGO dedicated to working with poor, rural communities to create lasting solutions to poverty. FYF envisions a world in which everyone has the right to build a future free from hunger and poverty and its mission is to mobilise local knowledge and skills, and promote the ownership and use of natural resources by poor rural communities in finding sustainable solutions to hunger, poverty and discrimination.
FYI has received funding from World Food Programme (WFP) to implement an Integrated Resilience Project in Balaka for a period of 2 Years (July, 2020-December 2021. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to improved livelihoods and resilience of targeted communities in Balaka District by 2021.
Find Your Feet is, therefore, looking for well-qualified and experienced persons to fill the following position:
POSITION: VILLAGE SAVINGS & LOANS ASSISTANT
LOCATION: BALAKA DISTRICT OFFICE
REPORTING TO: R4 & CLIMATE SERVICES OFFICER
The incumbent will support the implementation of Village Saving & Loans activities. The main aim of this position is to support the coordination and implementation of VSLA and Integrated Risk Management (IRM) activities. He & She will have overall responsibility facilitation and implementation of all VSLA and Integrated Risk Management (IRM) activities including SME and vocational skills components of beneficiaries. He/she will ensure all proposed objectives and targets of VSLA and IRM activities including guidance to successful formation of VSLAs, Rapid Appraisal of Income Generating activities (RAIGO) beneficiary training on business/entrepreneurial skills are achieved. The incumbent will ensure regular field visits to monitor activities and conduct timel y weekly and monthly reporting.
- Facilitate planning, organizing and management of VSLA and IGA related activities.
- Conduct awareness /sensitization on VSLA and IGA activities among communities and local leaders.
- Facilitate community vulnerability process in target communities to define community gaps and provide basis for planning.
- Develop work plans (Weekly, Monthly and Quarterly) to ensure effective implementation of VSLA related activities as outlined in the detailed implementation plan.
- Facilitate the identification and/or formation and mobilization of local structures such as VSLA groups, IGA groups, financial institutions and marketing groups in the villages and district.
- Facilitate beneficiary identification in consultation with communities and local leaders using set of criteria. Facilitate the identification of village level VSLA agents to enhance community awareness and ownership/sustainability of VSLA approach.
- Key technical tasks.
- Identify technical capacity and challenges for beneficiaries and village agent’s face and skills/knowledge they have in VSLA, Business development skills, Income generating activities (IGAs). Facilitate and ensure establishment of village savings and loans association groups, IGA groups and VST among the target communities.
- Oversee and regularly monitor when the VSLA groups are conducting the share purchase, social contributions and borrowing and repayment of loans to ensure proper documentation/recording of VSLA field cash box. Train beneficiaries and village agent’s skills on VSLA methodology
- Train economic development groups/associations/committees on BDS, RAIGO groups/cooperatives and marketing. governance, leadership, VSLA, BDS. Coach, supervise and mentor the village agents for effective facilitation and support of VSLA and Income generating activities. Strengthen the capacity of partners. I.e. local government representatives on VSLA, IGAs and VST.
- Facilitate and organize exposure or exchange visits and any other events for the beneficiaries to foster learning and experience sharing. Ensure timely procurement of and delivery of right quality and quantity of VSLA kits/tools required by the beneficiaries and ensure these are used appropriately. Ensure sorting out any misunderstanding that may arise with in VSLA group members to ensure smooth running and prevent drop out.
- Identify high capacity vocational skills training center for the youth to learn different skills as per market demand/market survey results in order to equip skills for self employment. Facilitate and conduct market assessments in order to establish skills gaps, guiding the training of youths in VST. Facilitate in depth value chain analysis and meeting with actors throughout the market chain to gather critical market information. Ensure linkage/integration economic development activities with Agra pastoral and pastoral activities to foster synergies under the drought recovery project. Ensure VSLAs social funds is available to those members who face acute stress to act as emergency resource and ensure timely availability of project matching funds. Ensure best Vocational skills youth graduates selected from VSLA groups are provided with complete starter up kits or access to grants.
- Based on their business plans through a competitive fair and inclusive process(based on business plans)ensure individual VSLA members are linked with microfinance institutions to borrow loans for business startup/investment on proposed business plans.Facilitate training of VSLA members on life skills such as on basic literacy and numeracy skills, household financial affairs, risk management and planning Making sure balanced gender (Men, Women and Youth) in the representation and participation of the project. Liaise with the Project officer for all decisions related to VSLAs and pre urban livelihoods and carry out any other duties as may be assigned by the Line supervisor. Work closely in teamwork with FSL team as well as other program teams such as Wash, Nutrition, Logistics, finance and Health.
- Monitoring, Evaluation, Documentation and Reporting.
- Conduct regular follow-up visits to VSLAs, IGAs groups and VST graduates to see if they are applying the technologies/practices and provide technical assistance where there are gaps. Track progress of the savings groups, VSLAs and IGA activities to see if targets set in the annual work plan are achieved. Facilitate data collection from savings groups and mange/supervise the MIS information flow to Project Officer.
- Support the preparation of monitoring plans for the savings groups and ensure they get involved in own monitoring and evaluation of VSLAs, IGAs etc activities. Monitoring and supervision of Village Agents performance in the villages. Consolidate/compile monthly, quarterly and annual activity reports and special events showing achievements, lessons, constraints and recommendations which should be submitted to relevant authority at the agreed time
- Assisting IGA Entrepreneurs to assess their local economy and find markets for their products and services. Carry out quarterly/annual review meetings to assess performance of activities against set targets at the community and program level. Conduct ED assessments and document benefits from these and write success stories.
- Monitor and facilitate use of the Community Early Action information (collect & dissemination) to strengthen beneficiary’s preparedness to any potential shocks (drought, floods, conflicts etc) at community and district levels. Participate in field level assessment and or evaluation of project performance/evaluations.
Represent FYF in the field meeting relevant to VSLA and IRM activities, meetings with government, INGOs, Local NGOs and other players in the district Build relationship and coordinate with stakeholders (local leaders, district authorities, microfinance institutions), relevant government Ministries/departments. Participate in field level coordination meeting with local government authorities and other agencies.
Skills and experience
- Diploma/Degree in Business Administration, Community Development, Sociology and any other relevant experience in microfinance, livelihoods, IGA and VSLA methodology.
- At least 2 years’ experience on community development/food security agriculture and pastoral livelihoods.
- Experienced facilitator /trainer, working experience in resilience initiatives or programs is highly preferred.
- Strong communication and report writing skills.
- Familiarity with principles and practice of savings-led microfinance and with strong awareness of challenges faced by traditional methodologies.
- Willingness to travel to all project locations on regular basis,
- Experience in working with Non-Governmental organizations, UN agencies and local communities, Iocal authorities and Local NGOs,
- Strong computer skills and ability to use standard computing packages such as word, excel, power point, spreadsheets and database software programs.
- Able to ride a motor cycle.
How to apply
Applications must include a motivation letter, an updated CV, names and contact details of three traceable referees and photocopies of certificates. Applications should be sent to:
The Executive Director,
Find Your Feet,
P.O. Box 20312,
Closing date: 14th August, 2020
Find Your Feet is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified women are encouraged to apply. Only shortlisted applicants will be acknowledged