Village Savings + Loans Projects: It’s not all about financial inclusion
One of our Village Savings and Loans projects is in the Kirumba sub county, Kyotera county, Rakai district of Uganda.
In a study conducted by the Rakai Health Sciences Project, HIV prevalence in the population is high, with 19.1% of adults aged 15 or older are HIV-positive.
By household, the burden of infection is even higher, with 31.3% of households have at least one HIV-infected resident adult. Overall, 3.6% of study households experienced the death of an HIV-positive adult per year, and another 2% lost an HIV-negative adult.
Just under 15% of children aged 14 years or under had lost one or both parents, and approximately half of these parental losses are estimated to be associated with HIV infection. 19% of study households reported at least one resident child who had lost one or both parents. HIV infection is very prevalent among adults in Rakai and the associated mortality imposes a substantial social and economic burden on households in the district.
Our projects focus on empowering a prosperous society, which is free from poverty and is self-reliant. This is achieved through enabling people in rural areas to improve on their quality of life in a sustainable way.
Whilst our projects provide access to savings and loans groups for people and families living in extreme poverty, our impact reports show that the benefits go far wider than battling poverty.
- This Is EPIC Village Savings and Loans groups are a breeding ground for leaders. Members who participate in the projects find the groups a very easy environment to practice and test themselves as leaders. The groups have inspired a number of members to contest for positions in the upcoming Uganda general elections in the year 2016.
- This Is EPIC Village Savings and Loans groups help build self-confidence. Members, especially women, who are involved with the projects become more and more confident through their involvement. This is mainly due to the exposure they get when they are in the groups through discussing various subjects such as savings performance and the performance of their income generating activities. Each member is given chance to share their views with the groups, and this is often how any inferiority complex is dealt with.
- This Is EPIC Village Savings and Loans groups empower the whole community. Due to the benefits of This Is EPIC Village Savings and Loans projects to the community, the older generation are making a strong effort to learn how things are done within the groups. They are very inspirational figures and role models to the younger people within the community, who are in-turn encouraged to join the projects.