Village Savings & Loans Associations VSLAs
Imagine a situation where a $20 part could mean the difference between clean, flowing water and a broken well. For many communities in Africa, this scenario is something they will inevitably face at some point. While the pumps are relatively easy to repair and keep in working order, that $20 or $40 part can easily be out of reach for a community living below the poverty line. So, how can we ensure that the stakeholders always have the funds to cover maintenance and repairs when they are needed?
This is where the Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) come into play. It’s not just about money; it’s about hope and empowerment. VSLAs are a structured system of lending and borrowing where the community works together to pool their money and invest in themselves. Stakeholders present their small business ideas to the VLSA group members. These ideas could be as simple as selling produce at a local market or opening a tea or baked goods shop. The community then votes on which ideas are most likely to succeed, how much seed money will be needed, and what interest should go with the loan. All the money raised goes back into the community.
VSLAs represent a lifeline for these communities. With the support of VSLAs, these incredible people not only fund repairs but also create opportunities for themselves. They start businesses, nurture dreams, and build a future.