Our website is still down - project in Uganda is doing well
Thank you for supporting our microfinance project in Uganda through our website www.microbanker.com. We apologize sincerely that the website is still down and that you haven't been able to track progress of the women you sponsored.
In April of this year we changed our back-end IT-system from a system we built ourselves in 2011, to a new database system called Musoni. This will allow us to send automated text messages to all the women with microcredits in the project, and disburse microcredits using 'mobile money'. There are significant advantages to this. The text messaging will include not only information regarding the microcredits (e.g. account balance, payment due), but can also include information helpful to the women, such as health information for pregnant women, coffee prices or irrigation advice for farmers. The use of mobile money means that we can reach women we previously couldn't reach, and accept repayments more safely and efficiently.
Although Musoni has been working well, unfortunately the migration from one IT system to another broke the link between our database and the website www.microbanker.com. We have been working to restore this link by rebuilding the website, but we have limited resources and rely on volunteer time of IT professionals. This has resulted in overall slow progress. The back-end database is surprisingly complex, processing over 250,000 tiny repayments in the field every year; and building a stable two-way connection between this database and the website www.microbanker.com has proved to be more work than we anticipated.
The IT volunteer working to restore the link between database and website is making good progress, and we are hopeful that the website will be back online before the end of the year. We are making sure that your account is pre-generated before we go online and has 'credits' in them to the same amount you originally sponsored. Unfortunately you will not be able to see the previous microcredits you sponsored - that link is lost. But you will be able to choose new microcredits using your credits, and of course use repayments to recycle to ever more microcredits, like you were used to on our old site.
We sincerely apologize for the downtime of the website, and for the lack of transparency this has created into your donation.
We do want to assure you that the actual project in Uganda is doing well. The Musoni database that we use for everyday work is working perfectly, and we have disbursed almost 4,000 microcredits this year, at >99% repayment. Your donation has not been idle - we have recycled repayments to approved microcredits constantly, without letting any money be dormant or go to waste. We will however make sure that once the website is online again, we have sufficient funds to disburse whichever microcredit you choose to support with your credits.
The new website will start with the same functionality as the old one, with a fresh look. Over time, we will be able to add more functionality with the additional capabilities of our new database system. For example, we can show more detailed statistics of the project, track the impact of individual microcredits more accurately.
We will keep you updated with any news and of course when the website is up and running again. In the meantime, please contact us with any questions through firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you again for your support.