Archives For savings groups

For years, Mary Msoni sorted through bundles of donated secondhand clothing in Lusaka, Zambia, to resell for a slim margin. Hoping to expand, she started selling new dresses, but her household expenses still left her with little money to invest in her business. Her only options for capital were loan sharks who charged exorbitant interest rates. Continue Reading…

Life in Haiti hasn’t been easy for a long time. More than half the population lives on less than $2.40 a month, while wealth and power are concentrated in the hands of a select few. For the last several months, government corruption, fuel shortages, spiraling inflation, contaminated drinking water, and food scarcity have caused many Haitians to rise up in protest against a government that has been largely deaf to their cries. These protests are making international headlines. Continue Reading…

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…