Akhuwat provides interest free loans to the economically poor so that they may acquire a sustainable livelihood. The organization sees interest as a barrier to widespread proliferation of capital, and a violation of all moral and ethical codes. In keeping with the principles of equity and social justice, burdening the poor with exorbitant interest rates is also viewed as undermining the overarching goal of poverty alleviation.
USE OF RELIGIOUS PLACES
The Akhuwat Model institutionalizes the use of local religious places, for example mosque, temples and churches, as centers for loan disbursements and avenues for community participation. Using the existing indigenous infrastructure for operations allows us to minimize our expenditure, have a higher level of transparency and accountability, and create a sense of goodwill amongst the community.
BORROWERS INTO DONORS
Originally not a part of Akhuwat’s programs, the MDP (Member Donor Program) was introduced when a successful borrower asked for ways in which to contribute to the organization that was responsible for his uplift. His spirit and tenacity struck the staff of Akhuwat as an exemplary realization of the culture which it had been trying to promote. After all, the greatest indication of poverty reduction in a society is the transformation of borrowers to donors. The board immediately decided to set a fund that borrowers could contribute to, with the instruction that it’s not compulsory.
SPIRIT OF VOLUNTEERISM
We see Akhuwat as a social contract — it is a pact between the privileged and the underprivileged, a duty of those who have resources towards those who do not. With that in mind, the organization trains and employs volunteers on a regular basis. We believe that an ideal social enterprise employs a mixture of volunteerism and necessary compensation; we preach the same principle to our employees and encourage them to contribute to this brotherhood beyond what is dictated by their formal contract, and thus the cause of Akhuwat becomes each employee’s own.
NON-DISCRIMINATION ON ANY BASIS
We believe in an inclusive society without any discrimination on the basis of caste, color, creed, gender, politics or faith. Akhuwat is a non-political and pro-poor organization.