Child Care and Youth Empowerment Foundation is an indigenous registered charitable Non Governmental Organisation located in Mukono district, Mukono Central division, in Kikooza village. Its core activities are in the fields of health, social work and economic empowerment of children, youths and communities committed to social work and justice.
What is VSLA?
It is Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA). This is one of the activities we do at Child Care and Youth Empowerment Foundation (CCAYEF). It’s a group saving scheme where the organization’s beneficiaries mainly teenage girls and young women are trained on how to start and maintain a group saving group.
How is it done?
These groups comprise of 15-30 members per group. A group takes a cycle of between 8-12 months saving before sharing out.
How are the groups organized?
Our VSLA groups are well organized with proper record keeping and each member has their individual passbooks where they can track their savings. It’s voluntary and the members are self selected. The groups are self managed and have a constitution to which they abide by.
Why encourage VSLA not formal baking?
These schemes are very relevant in this kind of population because;
- Most of these girls cannot afford the requirements for opening up a bank account and maintaining it because they are low income earners and they have irregular income yet the costs of maintaining a bank account are high thereby most of them shy away from saving with formal financial institutions.
- The borrowing requirements, costs and process for formal institutions is very high and many of these people cannot afford it so these VSLA groups are a back bone where members can borrow money conveniently at very low interest rates and no security guarantees.
But what are the activities done in VSLA?
Some of the activities of the VSLA groups include;
- Weekly meetings in which they save and carry out other transactions as agreed upon by the group members
- Weekly contributions towards the welfare bag by each member. This money is to help members, in case of emergencies they can borrow it and return without interest.
- Borrowing or loans. Members are able to borrow money from the VSLA for improving their businesses which they can pay back with an interest. Normally the interest rates and the requirements for borrowing in the VSLA are very minimal compared to formal lending institutions which helps the members profit from the loans as well afford paying back. The interest is shared amongst the members at the end of the cycle.
How is it beneficial to an individual?
CCAYEF being an organization that accommodates teenage girls/mothers who are mainly vulnerable and at risk, VSLA is beneficial
Any success story so far?
This scheme has so far been a success here at CCAYEF. Started this year 2017 in February and many girls have embraced it. So far we have six VSLA groups with 137 total members who are actively saving.
Our objective is to have all our organisation’s beneficiaries engaged and benefiting from VSLA groups which are sustainable and to reach a target of at least 30 VSLA groups.
Figure 1: Tugoba bwavu VSLA members attending a group saving meeting.
With six groups of 137 members is it over with VSLA?
So what next?
What is next for VSLA is to continue forming more groups and also train these VSLA members in more skills that will be beneficial for their business growth so they can properly invest their savings. We plan to equip them with Business skills like; financial literacy, customer care, market research, entrepreneurial mindset, customer development, SWOT analysis, sales and marketing among others.
Any help/ support needed?
Our target is to train 2000 young girls and women and equip them with saving skills that help them to attain financial freedom
In that regard support is highly needed in terms of facilitation for VSLA facilitators
How can someone contact CCAYEF in case of any support?
Oooh, great please visit our website at www.ccayef.org and logon to our “contact us” page