Part of building a healthy community is nurturing its economy in the long-term. That’s the goal of a Village Savings and Loan Association program! VSLA programs offers a place for guardians of CarePoint children to secure funding for starting a small business. Offering secure and and accessible savings to loan from for entrepreneurship not only provides a way for people to provide for their families, but supports community growth.
These are some members from other VSLA groups that the Ngariam CarePoint supports!
It’s one of the fastest ways to help a rural community gain economic strength, and that’s exactly what’s happening with the Oudeke Village Savings and Loans Association in Uganda! The Oudeke VSLA is one of the 13 groups that the Ngariam CarePoint supports. It has 35 people in the group, and they have mostly put their start-up capital towards farming and agricultural activities. The group’s objective was to fight household poverty among members through weekly savings and affordable credit to boost agricultural activities and support everyday expenses such as school fees.
“We started our savings in 2010 and overtime have gone through lots of struggles ranging from bad debts and limited credit available, among other sour relations among group members,” group chairperson Otude John Francis said. “Recently Children’s HopeChest offered to partner with us, and has since supported us with knowledge on Village Savings and Loans Association methodology through a series of trainings.”
In a VSLA, a savings cycle is 1 year long. After the year is over, the group comes together for “action auditing”. The share value was 2,000, with members saving between 2,000 to 10,000 (1 to 5 shares) per week. When the Oudeke VSLA group conducted their ninth audit in July 2021, the group found that they had a total savings of eighteen million nine hundred thirty-five thousand shillings, (18,935,000) from savings, fines and loan interest!
The group’s chairperson, Otude John Francis, and his wife and son are all members of the group. This meant that the family went home with a total of 2,700,000 shillings! They are planning to use their earnings to acquire building materials to construct a permanent home. Okiror John Robert also participated in the group with his wife, and returned home with 2,000,000 shillings! The family of Okiror plans to restock their family drug shop that serves the local community.
The group prepared a feast to celebrate their accomplishments. We are proud to see the efforts of community members to advance their goals together and hope to see more in the future!