Church Offerings (Sadaka) in Bangla-Pesa

A church member offering Bangla-Pesa to the collection box.

A church member using Bangla-Pesa at his shoe repair business.

Faith based organizations (FBOs) are beginning to step up their usage of Bangla-Pesa to increase community services. FBOs act as a conduit for community service when members of the Bangladesh Business Network use their Bangla-Pesa as an offering. The Legio Maria Church in Bangladesh (shown on the left) today took offerings (Sadaka in Swahili) in Bangla-Pesa. These Bangla-Pesa will increase the amounts the church collects on a weekly basis and be used to help feed community members with HIV/AIDS as well as support other community activities. The Legio Maria church puts hundreds of children through school and helps many in the community make ends meets.

A charcoal saleswoman being registered as part of the network.

A business women selling vegetables with Bangla-Pesa.

After being active again for a few weeks the lists of goods and services members offer for Bangla-Pesa is growing rapidly. The trade of everything from produce and cooked foods, to shoe and TV repair, is increasing as the community becomes more knit together into a barter network.

As the community finds more ways to trade with each other, they also find more ways to give. Local faith based organizations struggle to raise funds for many basic programs, like feeding and schooling children. By accepting Bangla-Pesa as offerings they are allowing community members to contribute through their goods and services rather than scarce national currency. Needy community members then receive these offerings from the church, and can then spend it in the business network. This circular flow is one that both strengthens the local economy and provides a means for the community to help meet their own needs.