The Tanda program interweaves the formats of seminars, book clubs, research groups, and tandas. Tanda is a spanish term for an informal money lending circle that is formed amongst friends, families, and acquaintances. This short-term loan club is a cross-cultural concept that is also known as a susu, cundina, vaca, hui, paluwagan, and jamia, to name a few.
An example of a tanda is as follows: A tanda is formed between five people. Each person in the tanda puts $100 into a pot every week to total a $500 pot. The first member gets the $500 pot the first week. The second member gets the next $500 pot the second week, and the third member gets the next $500 pot the third week. This continues until each member in the tanda has received the $500 pot. Usually tandas are formed out of one member’s financial emergency or if a community project needs to be funded. Tandas become ways relationships strengthen, news and stories get exchanged, and community support and trust grows.
Following that concept, instead of waging money, participants in the Tanda program wage a subject. Each participant chooses to wage a topic that they are researching or reading to put in the program’s syllabus (pot). That syllabus will consist of weekly sessions and every session will be assigned a subject taken from the pot. Each member, except the member who waged the week’s topic, will research that week’s subject and regroup in every session to present and discuss their research and findings.