Women empowered through savings group

May 01, 2018
Written by: World Vision Staff; Edited by Leanna Cappiello
Anyone who runs a business of any size will tell you that building capital and expanding reach is challenging work. In Manonga, high interest rates and scarce resources are additional hurdles, and women in particular are finding it challenging to hit these moving targets while raising families.
The Village Saving and Loans Association is a program that World Vision uses to teach people how to improve their livelihood through shared accountability and money management. Through small, locally-based savings groups, members pool their resources, creating a shared fund that can be used for personal or community needs. It also teaches them to optimal saving and investing techniques, so they can reach their personal goals. Two savings groups that formed in 2014 already have stories of transformation to tell.
Together, we are stronger.
With equal group contributions, loans are easier to earn and pay off. With this new freedom, the groups could turn their attention elsewhere in the community. Supporting children’s education was something Group A was passionate about, so they decided to contribute and make a difference.
With their combined effort, their dollars went further than they could have alone. The group’s leader, Anna, says, “We donated 600 exercises books and pens to schools for children who come from families in need. This donation was possible through our community fund because each member contributed a little bit of their earnings every week.”
 A woman sowing
Photo: World Vision
In the spirit of social justice, like Group A’s efforts, Group B put their communal earnings toward health insurance for five children in the community.
Praise for personal empowerment
In addition to the savings groups’ collective successes, individual group members are also having success in their personal lives. Amina, a member of the Group B group, says, “Right now I can easily pay for my children’s school fees because at any time I am able to secure loan and return it with little interest. This was not easy in the beginning.”
Mariam, one woman who’s nearly finished building her dream home, says, “Thanks, World Vision, for introduce us to the Village Saving and Loan Association. I see the impact of the World Vision VSLA on my community.”
Theresia, another savings group member, says she and her family have expanded their mining business. “I’ve been able to buy the machinery and equipment needed to dig the stone pit we need.”
Help a hardworking family provide for their children. Invest in a small business.