Projects

Micro-Savings Program

Savings doesn’t just help people mitigate the risks posed by a medical emergency or a bad crop, it also gives them the ability to marshal their resources to build something better for themselves and their children. It allows them to fund their own businesses, to look ahead with confidence. Savings helps families to take the giant leap from reacting to events to planning for a healthier, happier future. -Melinda Gates

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Supporter

$5.00

raised

PREMISE:

How can a family living in survival mode change direction and begin to thrive? It starts with *saving. In Kenya, for instance, enrolled family participants living in areas plagued by extreme poverty save 50 shillings per week (equivalent to .62 cents). Saving is not always easy, but through dedication and hard work, families typically can find small ways to bring in a little extra or save a little more. Here’s how it works: A family saves a minimum of 50 shillings each week for 10 weeks.  After they complete a cycle of 10 weeks, we reward them with 10% interest as an incentive to save. The savings and interest combined is then used towards income-generating activities that slowly but surely elevate families out of poverty.

HERE'S WHAT THIS PROJECT ACCOMPLISHES:

1.) Teaches: It teaches the importance of saving money

2.) Offers incentives: It offers rewards for saving money (an incentive-based program that pays interest when others successfully save).

3.) Offers a solution: It offers a no risk, debt-free solution to improving quality of life. Moreover, family participants work in groups in order to motivate one another. The group support truly is the backbone for allowing this program to succeed. We also use the help of our local chapter team members to facilitate this program. This allows them to share previous success stories, consult families on an individual basis given their unique needs and opportunities for re-investment, as well as distribute the interest incentives.

4.) Creates income: The money saved as well as the interest earned are re-invested towards income generating projects that the family participants themselves decide given their dreams and talents (e.g. income-generating agriculture, poultry farming, dairy cows, goats, pigs, fish farms, soap making, sewing, etc). Ultimately, this allows dreams to be realized! What was once merely a lofty ideal can now be made a reality through hard work and their collaboration with GOA. Again, our local GOA-chapter affiliates are there to help by offering consulting on income-generating investments that incorporate their talents and resources.

5.) The cycle continues: After 10 weeks of savings, they will get the chance to do it again. And again, and again. Up to 10 cycles of savings + added interest for 10 weeks at a time will help families to invest in income-generating projects, which ultimately changes their lives.

WHAT IS NEEDED:

We need donors who will cover the interest incentives for our families enrolled in this program. Even $5/month from a large pool of our donors will help us sustain this program’s growth–empowering all of the families who desire to benefit from it. Anything can help.

Unlike micro-lending schemes, we are not in this to make money. The interest rewards we offer our families are just that–rewards–they’re incentives. This program leads to true empowerment because it’s all about savings, not loans, that empower and change people. Savings enables people to truly choose rather than be told by someone else what to do with money. In earning the right to choose, people learn to take intelligent risks. Savings helps to abolish fear, the fear of being beholden to a lender. The absence of fear, through the power and confidence of savings, allows people to be a free agent unto themselves. Please help us reach our goal so we’ll be able to cover the interest of this program’s current family participants. Empowerment depends on it.

* The inspiration for this project is derived from Tabitha, our partner organization in Cambodia, who has successfully aided over 350,000 families out of extreme poverty to the middle class.