A Letter from the Clerk

Posted on Oct 27, 2017

Dear Friends,

After some forty years of involvement with Right Sharing of World Resources, I began serving as the Presiding Clerk of RSWR’s Board of Trustees in the spring of2016. All of this experience has helped me to see firsthand how the lives of thousands of women have been changed by RSWR micro-financing. Now RSWR is beginning to implement thoughtful changes in our loan programs that should enable us to improve our services significantly. I want to highlight two of these changes in this letter to you.

Bruce visiting with RSWR project member, Feb. 2016

Increased Training and Support: For years, RSWR has provided some basic training in marketing and financial management for women loan recipients as they prepare to start very small businesses of their own. This initial training, along with some follow-up advice and support, is sufficient for many women. However, we expect that other women would benefit from a more extended program of training and support, perhaps lasting for a few years. Such extended support would also provide opportunities to help some women prepare for leadership roles in their communities.

Bruce with RSWR Field Rep. Dr. R Kannan (middle) and his helper Purushotham (left)

Expanded Assessments and Reporting:

We currently receive six-month and one-year reports from each group of loan recipients, plus updates from our Field Representatives as they visit projects. However, we believe we could strengthen our programs if we had better data on the outcomes of each loan program. We have begun working with community leaders to adapt simple assessment tools that will help us better understand how to improve our program design and strengthen our services. This should result in more women being able to transform the lives of their families and the communities in which they live.

It is a real privilege for me to serve as Presiding Clerk of this wonderful Quaker organization. Working with General Secretary Jackie Stillwell and with very active Board members, and meeting women loan recipients whose lives have truly been transformed, are among the great joys of my life.

Bruce Birchard
Presiding Clerk of RSWR’s Board of Trustees