In CREATE!’s partner community of Thieneba, one of the Voluntary Savings and Lending Associations (VSLAs) met last week to conclude their second nine-month savings and lending cycle. By the end of the cycle, the thirty women participating in the group were able to collectively save over $2,500! Association members save small amounts of money each week and then make loans to each other to cover business, personal, and household costs.

Group members count money

VSLA members do not need to be literate to participate, so membership is open to all.

Women in Thieneba report that participation in VSLA is an important means of saving and investing the income that they earn through the sale of vegetables and poultry. Khady Diallo is pleased that she is able to save and borrow money as part of a VSLA. She says, “I now have the possibility to support my family.” Although each VSLA is self-managed by associate members, CREATE! staff have been instrumental in training and oversight during this second savings and lending cycle in Thieneba. All VSLA members in Thieneba plan to continue participating in the group’s third nine-month savings and lending cycle, which will begin as soon as possible.