Hope for a Child Malawi update
We are 7 months in to our 3 new projects in Malawi, and so far 2,547 people from poor and marginalized communities are successfully saving money on a weekly basis, and accessing small loans and emergency insurance – through self-managed village banks called Village Savings & Loan Associations (VSLAs). 84% of these are women, who are beginning to have the power and resources to choose what kind of a childhood their children have.
Members have so far saved a total of £22,923 (an average of £9 each), on which they can expect to earn around 35% interest when they receive their savings back at the end of the year. Many loans have been taken, with an average value of £12. These are being used to invest in small businesses and income generating activities.
A number of children have also started forming their own VSLAs under supervision. As well as teaching them the importance of saving money they are also learning numeracy and basic financial management skills. Teaching these values to children from a young has the potential to have a large impact on the community, as in many communities the concept of saving is completely foreign.
As well as gaining access basic financial services, the people benefiting from these projects are receiving other kinds of training too. A number of members have been receiving agricultural training and are collectively cultivating areas to grow specialized vegetable crops to boost their cumulative savings. Other members have been receiving training in business management skills, so that they can successfully use loans to generate more income.
We estimate that these 3 projects are so far having positive impacts on about 12,840 children.