Empowering Communities through Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA)

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CADECOM with support from Scottish Government through OXFAM Malawi  implemented a three and a half year project from 1 April 2015 to 31 September 2018 in Rumphi (TA Chikulamayembe) districts. The project  titled IMPROVED LIVELIHOOD FOR 3000 POOR FARMERS AND THEIR FAMILIES IN RURAL MALAWI was aimed at using renewable energy to increase agricultural production, improve household income through small scale enterprises, add value to the crops through small scale processing and  promoting natural resource management through Village Natural Resources Committees. The project payed particular attention to women (60% of the total target), youth, people and the elderly. In Rumphi the project was specifically implemented under GVH Makuni, Vitendwe Mpeta Mwadandambi , Kalonde and Lukungiro which are under paramount chief Chikulamayembe.

With the high inflation rates having negative impacts on productivity and marketing costs, Mzuzu Diocese CADECOM through the improved livelihood project facilitated the formation of Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) and later provided the participants with a training  in the targeted communities in order to generate home grown capital and enable farmers keep their proceeds from the sale of crops for use during the next growing season. Efrida Gondwe is one of the participants who  participated in the Village Savings and loans Association and has greatly benefited with her income increasing to 16000 per month from 4000 kwacha.

Efrida aged 35 hails from Pondamale village in Traditional Authority Chikulamayembe in Rumphi District. Efrida is a member of Tionge VSL group. She was  assisted with a training in business management  which has  improved her capacity to easily calculate profit and loss in her business. With the coming of the improved livelihood project in the year 2015, Efrida began to experience a different way of looking at life. She was identified to participate in  project activities in October, 2015. After joining the VSL group Efrida was advantaged to obtain a loan from the group. The loans were repaid over 3 months and at small interest rate of 5 to10% which also goes into the end of year ‘dividends’ which represent a sharing out of profits to members. Throughout the first year implementation of the project Efrida actively participated in the Village Savings and loans club and managed to obtain Mk59,000 ($170.42) at the end of first cycle on September 2016.In total she had also managed to access a loan amounting to Mk60, 000 ($210.53) as of September 2017. The loans were often used for establishing a small scale baking business with an aim of improving her living conditions and generating to cover purchase of other basic items such as soap and salt. With the money she had saved and borrowed from the Village savings and loans, Efrida managed to buy clothes for her children, two chickens, three (50kg) bags of maize and a bag of fertiliser in preparation for the 2016/2017 growing season. She also manages to pay school fees for her form four sister who also is under her care child.

Efrida at her house

She said“Ine nkhusowa na chakuyowoya kwe ntchimwemwe pela wamama wanyane tiyeni titolepo lwande pa ma banki yammudzi kuti tisinthe miyoyo yithu pakupanga mabizinesi! Mabanki yakupinduliska aya! (I am filled with joy and happiness My fellow women, let’s take part in village savings and loans to improve our lives through establishment of businesses).

 

 

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Compiled by: Harold Mwale 

1 thought on “Empowering Communities through Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA)

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