A Savings Trailblazer in a Rural Community
Thanks to you, women like Fantaye are securing their futures for their families
But in Mrs. Fantaye Sarte’s community, there were rumours and speculations about what a group like this actually was. Was it a money making scheme? Was it just a hand-out? Were people going to be taken advantage of?
Nobody in her community in rural Southern Ethiopia was open to the idea of a Self-Help Group at first, but Fantaye decided to give it a chance.
Established through the local church with the help of Tearfund’s local partners, group members (usually women) are able to take out low interest loans to start new businesses, replace broken farm equipment, or survive in times of crisis. Through the process, members also receive training on bookkeeping, administration, and business principles.
After her husband died, Fantaye became the sole breadwinner for her 3 children and her elderly mother-in-law. She needed to find a way to provide for them, and give them a secure future.
Fantaye’s situation is similar to many in her community. She explains, “Like my neighbours, I do not have enough fixed assets, so cannot get loans from traditional banks or other financial institutions to run a small business.”
Starting a business is how Fantaye knew she could make a change for her family. Along with a few other innovative thinkers in her community, she established a Self-Help Group and began saving.
Fantaye explains, “Over time, our group increased its weekly saving rate.” As the group grew and had the ability to give loans to its members, Fantaye was finally able to start her business. “I started to increase my family income. God was helping me, and I started to provide them with food, clothes, covering medication costs and schooling. It was immense for my family,” she said.
Thanks to generous donors like you, women like Fantaye are securing their futures for their families. Fantaye says the group has increased her self-esteem and sense of confidence, and is now encouraging others in her community to establish groups so they can relieve themselves from poverty.
Fantaye also added that the groups have “strengthened social connections of the group members. The group members feel a sense of family relationship and have special affinity with each other.”
Not only is your faithful support helping women to lift themselves out of poverty, but it is making communities stronger.