“New Delhi, India : More than 1,000 street children have joined
together to create a bank that helps them manage the small sums they
earn each day. Launched in 2001 by a volunteer aid group called
Butterflies, the Children’s Development Bank aims to empower children
in several important ways.
Like any other bank, CDB pays interest on the deposits that New
Delhi’s street children make. That interest can be a vital incentive
to kids who might otherwise spend their daily earnings on cigarettes,
candy or other items—or worse, have their meager profits stolen. Money
for the interest comes from the repayment of micro loans made to kids
15 years and older. But interest on income is only part of the
picture. While adults stand at the ready to help, CDB is managed by
children, helping them gain valuable work skills.
Some might argue that children shouldn’t work at all. But CDB’s adult
patrons maintain that the economic circumstances in New Delhi and
other parts of the world with large populations of street children
provide no alternative and that CDB gives these children better
control over their lives and earnings. And their idea appears to have
legs. Besides India, banks have been organized in Afghanistan,
Bangladesh and Nepal. CDB also has some heavy-hitting international
sponsors, including HSBC and Comic Relief. Proof that
entrepreneurialism can bring positive change in even the most
butterfliescdb [at] vsnl [dot] net
1. Loan Committee (9 children)
2. Board Members (children)
3. Child Manager (elected by children)
4. Assistant Managers and Promoters (elected by the children)
5. Clients (children fulfilling membership criteria)
Operational issues (Membership, Loan, Innovative features)
* Any working child from the age of 9 to 18 years.
* Both girls and boys can be members of this bank.
* Children who pick pocket and survive on thefts, and children
involved in peddling drugs, cannot be members.
* No minimum deposit is required in order to open account. It may
be 1 rupee/taka/afghani, 5 rupees/takas/afghani or 10 rupees/taka/
afghani depending upon the saving of the child. There is no fixed
amount for the children to deposit every month. Nevertheless, members
are encouraged to deposit a minimum amount daily.
Advance (Loan) to Adolescents
CDB’s principle of granting advances (credit) to adolescents rests on
the philosophy that advances help
* to fulfil their dreams
* gives a sense of achievement to the recipients
* helps in giving child a respectable status in society
* gives a better quality of life to children
* protects the dignity of children
* protects children from exploitation
Two different types of credit are available in the CDB, both of which
must be repaid:
* Advance- like an overdraft, no interest, short-term needs of
child only (e.g. buying clothes), and against the same amount held on
deposit with the CDB
* Loan – like a loan, with loan interest added and loans are made
only from age 15 – 18 in Butterflies, but the children can open
accounts with the CDB from age 9 – 18.
Loans are relevant in the CDB because it is primarily through the loan
that the child can either realise a business idea and take the first
steps toward financial independence, or obtain education or a
vocational qualification or more training, enabling adolescents to
take further steps to secure their future.
Criteria for loan
* The member will have to save money on a regular basis for 3
months, after which she or he can apply for a loan.
* The member must have minimum deposit of 20% of the total loan
* A single person or a group can apply for a loan.
* Every loan application must have two guarantors.
* A member may not take a loan on behalf of his/her parents,
brothers and sisters, or extended family.
* Loans will not be given to start a cigarette/betel leave shop or
to sell drugs and alcohol or phonographic materials.
Each CDB is associated with an organization working with street and
working children. The respective organization’s staff assists children
in running and managing the CDB.
Each country has a Lead Agency to promote and develop CDB’s in that
country. The Lead Agency chooses partner organizations within the
country working with street and working children to start and run
CDB’s. A secretariat based at Butterflies in New Delhi provides
training and overall support to the lead agencies and partner
A seven member advisory committee provides input and expertise to the
Butterflies is a registered voluntary organization working with street
and working children in Delhi since 1989. We believe in the right of
every child to have a full-fledged childhood where she/he has the
right to protection, respect, opportunities and participation in his/
her growth and development. Rights of street and working children are
no exception. Butterflies is committed to a non-institutional
approach, follows principle of democracy and promotes children’s
participation in decision making as part of its programme planning,
monitoring and evaluation. Given its belief in participation of
children in all our activities, it is more appropriately called a
“Programme with Street and Working Children”. Our main aim is to
empower street and working children with skills and knowledge to
protect their rights and to develop them as respected and productive
citizens. We use the Constitution of India, Laws related to Children
and UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as a major tool for
ensuring government and public accountability for all.
Butterflies is in contact with more than 1500 street and working
children on a regular basis through 12 contact points in Delhi and has
earned recognition worldwide for its innovative, realistic and
relevant programmes for street and working children. We also work with
6000 children in tsunami affected villages of Andaman Nicobar Islands.
BY Robert Langreth / 10.11.07
How do you get basic care to the remotest villages in Africa? One
clever idea is to borrow tactics from retail chains like McDonald’s
and Subway–operate an easy-to-replicate, owner-operated franchise
system focusing on health care.
Minnesota lawyer and businessman Scott Hillstrom started HealthStore
in 1997 after traveling through Kenya and noticing that one of the big
problems there was lack of reliable access to basic generic drugs.
Government clinics often ran out of drugs because of supply-chain
problems, while roadside shops sold elixirs of dubious quality. “It
hit me like a bolt out of the blue,” he recalls: A franchise system
would be a way to maintain standards and improve the supply chain.
With a budget of under $1 million a year, HealthStore Foundation
subsidizes nurses in rural areas to run 65 for-profit retail clinics
in Kenya that provide basic treatments for malaria, respiratory
infections and worms.
The 65 clinics run under the name CFW Shops and treated 400,000
patients last year. Many are run by retired nurses lured back to work
by the prospect of owning their own business. A charitable foundation
in Kenya set up by HealthStore helps train the nurses, delivers drugs
and other supplies every few weeks, and checks up on the clinics to
make sure they are maintaining quality standards.
Nurses pay about $300 to buy a clinic, and sell medicines for a modest
profit at a retail price of $1. About two-thirds of the shops make a
good income, and the foundation is flooded with requests for new
shops. Hillstrom hopes to expand to 225 outlets by 2011. His next
target is Rwanda.
Another solution is relocating nurses from central clinics to rural
villages and having them make house calls. Researchers at Ghana’s
Navrongo Health Research Center slashed child deaths in one of the
poorest parts of Ghana by doing this. In the mid-1990s three official
clinics in Ghana’s Northeastern province often saw as few as 10
patients a day from a population of 140,000. Villagers couldn’t get
So in 1996 researchers assigned 16 nurses to live in local villages.
Each was given a moped (financed by donors), antibiotics and other
basic drugs; the villages built houses for the nurses. Nurses treated
patients at the house in the morning, and then took to their mopeds in
the afternoons to make house calls. On weekends nurses went back to
By 2003 child mortality had declined from 17% to 7% as sick kids got
prompt treatment for the first time; immunization rates soared to 80%
from 30%. (Deaths declined only slightly in a control region that did
not get the nurses.) Total cost: less than $2 per capita annually
beyond what Ghana spent already.
Now Ghana is slowly trying to roll out mobile nurse program
nationwide. And once-skeptical nurses love the idea. “The whole
concept was so new, to leave your family and town and go into a rural
area and live alone,” says Cecilia Addah, a nurse in the town of
Naaga, 22 miles down a dirt road from the nearest hospital. “Now we
prefer living in the community. The people feel I should always be
with them. It is very motivating.”
A New Way Forward
The HealthStore Foundation® has combined established micro-enterprise
principles with proven franchise business practices to create a micro-
franchise business model called CFWshops™.
Franchisees operate small drug shops or clinics strategically located
to improve access to essential drugs. HealthStore clinics and shops
enable trained health workers to operate their own businesses treating
the diseases that cause 70-90% of illness and death in their
communities while following HealthStore drug handling and distribution
regulations calculated to ensure good practice.
A short-list of inexpensive generic drugs can effectively treat 70-90%
of the children suffering and dying from infectious diseases in the
developing world. Too often, people do not have access to these drugs.
HealthStore seeks to improve access to these essential drugs using its
micro-franchise business model.
The major goals of the CFWshops™ project are:
1. To create a reliable supply of high quality, low cost, essential
drugs and to make them available to the people who need them when and
where they are needed.
2. To treat childhood infectious diseases in the communities where
children live, thus reducing congestion in the healthcare system so
that scarce resources can be applied to others not so easily treated;
3. To reduce under age 5 mortality rates thus encouraging family
planning and lower population growth rates;
4. To discourage the development of drug resistant microbes by the
provision and appropriate use of adequate supplies of effective drugs;
5. To improve community health through educational and prevention
The mico-franchise business model engages the forces and participants
in the marketplace to incent health care providers to follow good
practices for the handling and distribution of essential drugs.
Franchisees enjoy the benefits of owning a valuable profit-making
business but may retain it only by compliance with CFWshops™ drug
handling and administration regulations. It is in their own self-
interest for franchisees to follow the regulations. HealthStore
believes that franchisees acting in their own self-interest will
achieve more than a centralized command-and-control bureaucracies can.
The franchise model has delivered a wide variety of high quality, low
cost goods and services throughout the world—including medicine—and
has proven to be an effective method of mass distribution across a
wide diversity of economic and cultural conditions.
The CFWshops™ franchise operating system includes an operating manual
complete with policies, procedures and forms constituting a turn-key
management system which, if followed, enables franchisees to conduct
business and provide necessary compliance reports to The HealthStore
Franchisees are entitle to receive a supply of high quality, low cost
drugs, management support, training and other valuable benefits from
HealthStore. But, if the franchisee fails to comply with rules and
reporting requirements, the franchise may be revoked. The system is
designed to make the long term benefits of retaining the franchise
worth too much to risk losing by breaking the rules. The rules are
calculated to assure good drug handing and administration practices.
The system includes, among other things:
1. Proper procedures for the handling of drugs and the diagnosis
and treatment of patients;
2. Regular reports along with routine and surprise inspections and
investigations to test and maintain compliance with franchise
3. Management and clinical training in the use of the franchise
4. Development of professional culture by promotion of inter-
disciplinary contact, continuing education, and continuing education.
To improve access to essential drugs, basic healthcare, and prevention
services for children and families in the developing world using
business models that are scalable, maintain standards, and achieve
economies of scale.
Code of Ethics
1. We are focused exclusively on our mission and don’t pursue
anything that does not serve it.
2. To ensure that we are efficient, effective, and financially
responsible, we test our actions and measure our success by how well
we achieve specific goals central to our mission and not by how well
we raise funds or build our public image.
3. To ensure that our patients come first, we subordinate our own
organizational and personal interests to the interests and well being
of the patients we serve.
4. We strictly adhere to the principles of integrity and trust,
always respecting longstanding principles of sound governance by an
actively engaged board of directors.
5. We believe that resources needed to achieve our mission are
abundant; we work with partners and share what we know in common cause with others pursuing the same mission.