By Larbi Arbaoui
By Larbi Arbaoui
Morocco World News
Tinjdad, Morocco, August 24, 2012
For many people, Borrowing from banks is very difficult in most cases due to many reasons. The lack of the collateral needed on the part of the borrowers place a challenge on the financial institutions to keep sponsoring consumer loans on the safe side. From the lender’s standpoint, they keep a distance from banks because of their religious beliefs and ethics that are in stark contrast with interests on the ground of which all Moroccan banks are based. However, these complications didn’t bar Moroccans to think out of the box and come up with an alternative method to sponsor their small projects or manage their savings. To escape the heavy interests imposed by banks, some people have invented a practical method of self collaborative sponsoring known among Moroccans as “Dart.”
Dart, in Moroccan colloquial language, means circle or a turn. It is a financial transaction between a group of friends or colleagues who trust each other aiming to provide a considerable amount of money for each member of the group consecutively by individual equal shares every month. The members of the group are chosen carefully based on their reputation and good personal profile. Dart provides guaranteed interest-free consumer loans, often at varying contributions within the framework of a limited partnership that mostly does not exceed one year.
This alternative financial method is widely used among public and private sector employees, taxi drivers, women of the same neighborhood, but it is very common among school teachers and educators in general. Practically, it has offered free services to many people and saved a lot from unexpected circumstances that require urgent sum of money. Most importantly, it has helped extravagant people to go through considerable savings.
S. Rachid has revealed to MWN his deep gratitude to his friend Ali who introduced him to a group of trusted friends with whom he started this “rewarding and wise savings.” “I personally never saved a penny; my salary is spent on my daily needs and a big amount of it is wasted on trivial things. When I started participating in Dart, I recognized that my monthly contributions are being securely saved for a rainy day,” he told MWN.
A group usually doesn’t consist of more than ten members. The first meeting is held to decide the amount of money to be paid every month, time and the person who is going to be in charge of collecting money from the rest of the members. Normally, the due time to end this business is determined by the number of members in each group. They also have to decide the order of benefactors in a friendly manner. Urgent cases are served first, but only if there is an overall agreement among all members; otherwise, they resort to a random drawing.
Regardless of few failed experiences, Dart, indeed, has proved its success and provided many people a considerable sum of money to start their personal projects and meet their basic needs. Frankly, there is no warranty in the whole business, but trust is the prerequisite, essential element on which this alternative method is base. As the Moroccan famous saying goes “money may come and go in a blink of an eye, but building trust among men may require years and years.”
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