Archives For savings groups

by Jeff Rutt, Founder & Board Chair, HOPE International; Founder & CEO, Keystone Custom Homes

As a homebuilder by trade, I’ve been privileged to walk alongside thousands of families in the homeownership process. When I met Rosalie in the small city of Tagatay, Philippines—where I traveled to witness the work of HOPE’s partner, the Center for Community Transformation (CCT)—it wasn’t the first time I saw someone moved to tears by the idea of owning a home. But Rosalie’s tears were different. Continue Reading…

by Robert Morris, HOPE Savings Group Technical Advisor

Savings groups are often described in simple terms: a small number of people who save their money together and take small loans from those savings. But when you look a little deeper—and hear what these facilitators were describing—groups are much more complex than they first appear. Some of the issues they face are complicated, like hedging, trading in futures, and calculating inflationary risk! Continue Reading…

Growing up in poverty in rural Malawi, Phanny raised her siblings on her own. Struggling to get by, she remembers often going to bed hungry. With few options to support themselves, Phanny and her siblings would collect firewood to sell over 10 miles from their home. And like many Malawians in her situation, she got married as a teenager, seeing few opportunities to develop herself on her own. Yet after having a daughter, life became even more challenging, and she and her husband struggled to put food on the table. Continue Reading…

by Elizabeth Dewes, Field Journalism Fellow (Zambia)

Like women around the world, Dorothy wears many hats. A wife and mother to seven biological children and two adopted, she’s also an entrepreneur who’s grown her business in Lusaka, Zambia, from a small popcorn stand into a shop that sells blankets, grain, oil, and salt. Here’s a glimpse into a day in Dorothy’s life. Continue Reading…

Like 94 percent of Malawians,* Alinafe lacked access to formal lending services. This kept her and her husband from getting the funds they needed to pursue their dream of opening a store. And without consistent employment, the couple struggled to pay for adequate housing or schooling for their four children.

But poverty a­ffected more than Alinafe’s finances. “I looked down upon myself,” she recalls. Knowing of Alinafe’s situation, a friend (also named Alinafe) invited her to join Chisomo (“grace”), a savings group formed through a local church. Still, Alinafe remained doubtful: “I felt too small and unworthy to join the group.” Continue Reading…

By Lesly Jules, HOPE Haiti Country Director

If you follow much of the U.S.-reported news on my home country of Haiti, you’re probably used to hearing reports of protests, violence, natural disasters, and corruption. In our country, our history is colored with chronic instability and volatility. Continue Reading…