The fictional Mibeli tribe of 250 people live in Mibeli Village in deepest Africa.

The people are on the edge of subsistence with no money and no community funds.

The infrastructure is non-existent, the village is covered in rubbish and human waste, it smells dreadful and is a health hazard. Everyone is half starved.

There are two farms, one agricultural and one with cattle, but neither produces anything for the community as there is no money to buy their produce.

The people sit around all day, doing nothing as there is no money to pay them.

An aid agency gives the village the equivalent of US$500, which normally would not last five minutes.

However, under my scheme, each person is credited with the equivalent of $2, but they receive $60 worth of the local token - the Mibeli plus $40 worth of Mibelis go into the community fund.

Thus the village people have a purchasing fund of equivalent of $15000 and the community fund $10000 and there is still the original $500..

The farmers accepts Mibelis in exchange for food, seeds and milk, they employ people to work on the farms in exchange for Mibelis.

Other people set up businesses accepting Mibelis, such as house repair, hairdressing, carpentry clothing etc.

The Community leaders organise the digging of a pit to take the sewage in a suitable downwind position, this also acts as a dump for rubbish that will rot into compost, employing (say) two people to look after it paid in Mibelis. 

Other people get rock and sand to build up the pathways so that people can move about during the rainy season, for which drainage is dug.

There is a regular market where people can sell anything they have produced for Mibelis, with sporting and social events using the token currency as prizes.

The local school re-opens parents pay a weekly rate in Mibelis which pays for the teacher, pens, books and stationery would have to bought with part of the $500 if none already there. Each family pays 1 Mibeli per month for a supply of water.

Five years later, the Mibelis are still circulating, with more produced as extra funding is provided. The farms have expanded with people working on them to produce food for all. A truck visits the village regularly to bring in supplies and take away surplus food and other items produced by the villagers.

A number of the villagers now have businesses, producing clothing from skins repairing housing and producing items to sell in the town, hairdressing etc. The village land has been re-allocated with people getting larger plots where they can grow food, there are trees bearing fruit. Someone buys manure from the farmer which is turned into fuel. The sewage has been turned into fertiliser, so that the crops prosper, there are trees between the sewage pit and around the village providing shade.

The villagers are healthy and happy, enjoying the sports, market and social events,

The school has expanded as there are now more children. There is money coming in both to the community and to the people all starting with $500 worth of aid.

R H Bartlett/ December 2007




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