Gifts of Hope: Savings-Led Microfinance
Written by Plant With Purpose on December 23, 2014 in Gifts of Hope
This Christmas season we are hopeful for continued growth and transformation in the lives of partnering farming families around the world. In this series, we explore unique gift ideas from our Gifts of Hope online catalog. These life-changing stories are a result of your support. We invite you to give a Gift of Hope this year and change a life.
Imagine choosing between continuing your children’s education and feeding your family that night. For many parents in poor, rural communities, this decision is all too familiar. Without enough income to feed, clothe, and send children to school, many families find themselves unable to cover daily costs of living, much less save for the future.
Glori is a mother and widow from the Kimangaro community in Tanzania. After her husband died, Glori knew that her income from breeding pigs would not be enough to feed her family and send her children to school. When sickness struck one of her children, Glori had no choice but to borrow money from friends and family to cover the cost of medical treatment.
Fast-forward a few years, and Glori’s children are still in school. Glori still breeds pigs and now grows crops to sell for additional income. How is this possible? Through participation in a savings-led microfinance group, this mother and widow is supporting herself and her family’s future. Plant With Purpose helps communities lead their own savings groups, called Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA). VSLAs like Glori’s allow community members to save their income and take out loans from group savings.
As a member of a VSLA, Glori is able to invest in livestock and crops to increase her income. She can feed her children, pay for school fees, take out loans to continue investing in her business, and cover unexpected medical expenses. Once unable to afford both food and school fees, Glori can pay for both and even save for the future. VSLA brings hope to families who didn’t know they were capable of saving.
As we choose between different Christmas presents for loved ones this season, consider giving the gift of savings-led microfinace to an impoverished community. Your gift will bring hope to VSLA members by teaching them the value of savings, and providing them with the training and materials to participate in community-based microfinance groups. This Gift of Hope will change the life of someone like Glori, and equip them to build a more promising future.