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Banking on change for the better

To most it’s just a metal box, but to those enrolled in our Village Savings and Loans program, it’s a bank – and a game changer.

Thanks to your Community Sponsorship, the poorest families in Hoang Su Phi are breaking the cycle of poverty with the help of basic financial services.

A group gathers for training

Community members learn about the Village Savings and Loans program

By joining savings and loans groups, local parents are getting access to financial literacy and the chance to save and grow their money so they can better provide for their children. Little by little, putting something aside every week, their savings start to accumulate.

And by pooling their funds – stored safely in a metal box housed by one group member and opened with keys held by three members – they begin to build a reserve that they can borrow from to pay for school fees, for instance, or purchase seeds and animals to improve their future prospects and incomes.

A group gathered in a home for a meeting

A Village Savings and Loans group meets at a local home

And that’s just one piece of the puzzle. We’ve also helped 180 of the community’s most marginalized families develop Household Development Plans. Overseen by Plan-trained social workers, and tailored to the needs of each family, these plans provide a blue print for improving living conditions, and are supported by training in home and farm economics as well as an infusion of much-needed capital (approximately $300) to invest in income-generating activities.

“My family is much better off, thanks to these programs,” says Lu Seo Kinh. “Now we have 4 buffalos, 2 pigs and 1 fish pond, and each month we can earn about $50 by selling fish, which is paying for my son to study in the district high school.”

For decades, families here have struggled just to get by from day to day. Without a safety net, they were at high risk of having to endure extreme deprivation in the event of any economic shocks. But by providing them with the opportunity, resources and know-how to get on their feet, their lives and futures have become a whole lot brighter.

Read on to see that change in action through the life the Then family.


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