Savings groups have been facilitated based on a microfinance model to create a sense of self enablement and income generation amongst woman of the particular region. A total of 7-29 trained volunteers, from what we call a “savings group”, come together every last Saturday of the Nepali Month. Currently there are 15 saving groups with 283 saving members. They deposit their savings (an amount of at least NRs. 200 or more) every month and can borrow from the gathered sum to start their own income generating activities such as production of spices, tailoring, beauty parlor, small retail shops, canteen and various other enterprises. Women participating in the project have gained self confidence and their social status has been reinforced within their communities. The continuation of savings groups has helped the mothers and volunteers gain easy access to finance when they need small investments for starting out small shops, businesses and income generation activities. The aim of the project is to develop savings habits to improve the economic status of women in the community, and have access to low-interest loans, encouraging them and creating a platform to share experiences and concerns, helping women to achieve a certain level of economic independence.
How groups were formed?
After taking the volunteer training, volunteers gained confidence amongst each other. At the end of the training small saving groups started forming. To encourage and strengthen Group Savings Initiatives small seed money per group was initially provided to volunteers to open bank accounts so that they can continue monthly savings as a group.