“A weight off my shoulders”: Sarah used NILS to replace her oven

When Sarah first heard about the No Interest Loan System (NILS), it was as if a huge weight had lifted off her shoulders.
It was coming up to Christmas last year, and she had been having trouble with the fridge and the shower in her home. But the last straw came when her oven broke and needed to be replaced. Such unexpected expenses can be hard to manage at the best of times, but in the run-up to Christmas they can really add to financial strain. Sarah wasn’t sure what to do, but then she heard about NILS.
“I wasn’t working at the time and I was thinking, how am I going to get this fixed? I hadn’t the money to do it,” she explains.
“I was telling Maureen [from Adapt House] about what was happening, and she mentioned NILS to me. I filled out the application form straight away, and then met Bernadette who asked me a few questions, and that was it. My application was put through the board, and they got back to me in a week or so.

“I picked out a new cooker, gave them the details, and they looked after everything.”

Sarah

It took Sarah just six months to pay back the loan in full, and she found the process to be completely stress-free.
“If I missed a week for any reason, I could pay it the following week. They even let me take a break from payments for a few weeks over Christmas as they said the office would be closed anyway. It took an awful weight off my shoulders.”
She says it was very satisfying to be able to see the balance going down week by week as she made the repayments.

“It was great to see it coming down. One of the best things is there is no interest – you are just paying back what you get. It really helped me. I needed a break at that time, and it made a huge difference.

Sarah

In addition, Sarah was conscious that as in paying back her loan, the money could then be made available to someone else in the community who needed it.
“Once you’ve paid back your loan, someone else can get one. A lot of people don’t know about it, but I would definitely use it again if I needed to.”
She found the whole experience stress-free and much more pleasant and personal than a bank or credit union.

“I would never have got a loan from a bank or credit union anyway as I wasn’t working at the time. NILS was much easier, you don’t have that pressure on you,” she says.
Sarah would also like to express her gratitude for the warm welcome that awaited her every time she came to the GSI office to make a repayment on her loan.

“The ladies in the office are lovely. They’re so friendly, it doesn’t feel like you’re paying money back, it feels like you are calling to see friends!”

“It gave me back my independence, as I got the loan myself and paid it back myself.”

Sarah

Other Journals

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Just over a year ago, Delia was faced with a dilemma. She had damaged her car, and had been quoted over €600 to fix it. Postponing the repairs wasn’t an option as she needed transport for school runs. But she didn’t have the money to meet such a large expense, and felt she had nowhere to turn.

 

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Bumps on the Journey

Just over a year ago, Delia was faced with a dilemma. She had damaged her car, and had been quoted over €600 to fix it. Postponing the repairs wasn’t an option as she needed transport for school runs. But she didn’t have the money to meet such a large expense, and felt she had nowhere to turn.

 

Read more

Sustainable Living, from Congo to Limerick

Sowing seeds of hope: How NILS helped Maurice to develop vegetable garden project

On a farm outside Limerick, Maurice and a team of volunteers are teaching young people how to grow African vegetables for the local community. The No Interest Loan Scheme was instrumental in getting the project off the ground.

 

Read more

“He will have a diploma. She will have a diploma.”

“Il aura un diplôme. Elle aura un diplôme,” chant the children of the Bon Pasteur School in Domaine Marial, a settlement at the edge of the mining town Kolwezi in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The thought that even a single boy or girl in this settlement might one day earn a school diploma is not something that would not have been considered possible a few years earlier.

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Benoit loves to actively contribute to his local community, but as an asylum seeker has not been allowed to work. Thanks to the No Interest Loan Scheme, he recently returned to study and is preparing to enter employment in Ireland.

Read more
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Dropati is a housewife living in the rural village of Khursipar in Madhya Pradesh in central India. When Dropati first married, the management of the family’s two-acres of land was left entirely to her husband. Over the last year, Dropati has taken on a more active role, starting two new businesses, building a new home and finding her own voice.

Read more

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It is a typical school scene: a group of children sit in a classroom, several more play football outside, a few lucky ones are having fun on the swings and seesaw in the playground. Over the roof of the building are the words ‘My school’ and on the other side of the picture is written a single word: ‘Welcome’. A Syrian flag flies above the school, while a backdrop of mountains, birds and fruit trees suggest an idyllic valley setting.

Read more
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Jayasri and her family – her husband, two children and parents-inn-law – are landless. Because they have no land of their own to farm, the family is entirely dependent on the irregular wages they earn as agricultural day labourers and selling the milk from their buffalo cow.

Read more

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The women of Domaine Marial are sewing a bright new garment. Many hands hold down the colourful fabric as one of the women irons a straight new seam.
They are part of a women’s economic empowerment project run by Good Shepherd at their training centre on the outskirts of Kolwezi, a town in the southern-most province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Read more

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Champion is passionate about planes and recently undertook an introductory course in Aviation Engineering, thanks to the No Interest Loan Scheme. It was an important stepping stone for him as he builds his career and life in Ireland.

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