Savings for the future
A husband and wife, Amino and Zeme, are among more than 2,600 local people to have enrolled in 118 newly-created Village Savings & Loans groups, which are offering basic financial services to members of this community for the first time ever.
“We received egg-laying chickens from Plan,” says Amino. “Since then, we have seen so many changes.”
By joining one of these Savings and Loans groups, the couple has also gained access to financial and agricultural training that is helping them diversify their income as well as grow and manage their money more effectively.
The result is that they have already improved living conditions for themselves and their three children, while contributing to local industry.
“Before, our life was mainly dependent on crops but now we’ve expanded our activities to include chicken rearing and egg sales,” says Amino. “Based on our income, we can now buy school uniforms for our children.”
“The eggs increase our income,” says Zeme, “which in turn increases our savings in the Village Savings and Loan.”
These savings and loans groups are tailor-made to the needs of people living in poverty who have no access to the formal banking system. Each member contributes a small amount of savings to a group fund from which they can then take out small, low-interest loans to fund new income-generating activities and other household expenditures.
Members of the Village Savings and Loan group gather for a meeting.
Of the thousands who’ve joined so far, the vast majority are women – by a ratio of about four to one. This provides some of the community’s poorest and most marginalized members with unprecedented economic and decision-making power within their households and communities, benefiting not only them but their children. And that puts everyone on a road to a more prosperous life and a brighter future.
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