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Church-Based Community Transformation

Village Savings Groups and Loans​

These groups are quietly revolutionizing the lives of people living in poverty and helping families break free
from the cycle of poverty for good

Savings Tearfund

Banking on Savings

How do you save when you only make a few dollars a day and lack formal banking services? 

  • The lack of sustainable financial programs in rural Africa makes it difficult for the poor to start new businesses, replace broken farm equipment, or survive in times of crisis.
  • In desperation, they are forced to seek out loan sharks who charge exploitative interest rates, which perpetuates the cycle of poverty.

Through Village Savings Groups, you provide families opportunities to save and access loans so that they can start new businesses, send children to school, and save money for emergencies.

These groups of 25 to 30 individuals (usually women) meet together weekly to save money and provide mutual support and accountability. Through the process, members receive mentoring in bookkeeping, administration, and business principles. 

Over the last year

families participated in savings groups
individuals achieved greater financial security
of which were women
0 %
How it Works

Identifying Members

Tearfund works with local church leaders to identify those in most need.

Groups Formed

Groups are formed with 20 to 30 individuals. Members select their own officers and set up their own bylaws.

Savings Made

Members make weekly deposits and begin to accumulate savings. They can take out loans at an agreed-upon rate.

Initiatives Formed

Members start investing in new tools, land, or businesses. Their income grows.

Sustainability Achieved

For a period of 12 months, groups receive mentoring and begin managing themselves.

The multiplying factor

Village Savings Groups not only change lives of individuals but transform entire communities. Often, several groups will come together and tackle community projects. Collectively, groups have been known to buy land together, fix bridges and roads, sponsor orphans, and even build schools!

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