Manila Regional Workshop 2013: social mission accomplished!
The regional workshop, which was organised by Entrepreneurs du Monde and took place in Manila in the Philippines from 25th to 29th November 2013, saw participants engage in some very fruitful discussions.
More than 40 people attended from Burma, Cambodia, India, the Philippines, Vietnam and France. Participants included Entrepreneurs du Monde’s partners in Asia, experts and other individuals working in the field of microfinance.
Entrepreneurs du Monde has been organising workshops including conference sessions, games, practical exercises, small working-groups, etc. on a regular basis since 2009 as a way of facilitating knowledge-sharing among its partners and developing with them.
Training and support for vulnerable families
This workshop focused on ways of developing the “socio-economic” aspect of social microfinance, that is to say those non-financial services provided by MFIs* as an essential complement to microloans and savings.
In particular, these services include training in social issues (health protection, family planning, etc.) and economic matters (managing a budget, repaying loans, etc.), as well as support for beneficiaries, whether that support be social, in the case of the most vulnerable families, or entrepreneurial.
Of the many discussions that took place during the 5 day long workshop, participants particularly appreciated those dealing with theoretical and practical aspects of training, such as how to recognise training needs, how to plan training, how to tailor it to the audience and deliver it in a dynamic way, and how to evaluate its impact. Participants returned to their organisations armed with new technical skills and ideas for further development.
One day of the workshops was spent in the field exploring the various socio-economic services provided by SEED, Entrepreneurs du Monde’s partner MFI in the Philippines, who hosted the session. This gave participants the chance to see training and counselling sessions and free medical consultations in situ, and then, of course, to discuss them afterwards.
In actual fact, it was the chance to share experiences like this that many participants had come for, and this, along with opportunities to share thoughts on the difficulties experienced by many participants, was at the heart of the whole workshop. “I’ve gained so much experience and knowledge”, one participant reported. “These workshops are immensely important – please do organise more!”
* Microfinance institution