Financial Services, Malawi
Hope for a Child savings & loan associations in Malawi are reaching the end of their first ever cycles. Here Malawian children look on with anticipation as their parents receive their savings back after 9 months hard work. In this project in Lilongwe District, groups of around 25 individuals are pooling their savings in weekly deposits to form a fund which provides members with loans and insurance. Members receive their savings back at the end of 9-12 month cycles, usually timed to coincide with the planting season to ensure access to enough seed and fertilizer. They can expect to receive around 35% interest with their savings. Training in agricultural production and marketing and in business helps members convert their savings and small loans into improved incomes.
Association members are trained in the methodology and supported over the course of their first cycle, after which they become independent. The training benefits members long into the future as it provides a long term means to meet the everyday needs of their families as well as invest in small businesses. Members of these communities would otherwise have no access to financial services.