Namikango Mission

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Meet Licy Juma – A Different Story

Jan 6, 2017

This is the rainy season time of year for us. With it comes hope that people will be able to make sure there will be food secure for the following year. It is time for work. This time of year also comes with a challenge of finances, as this is the same time that the families need money for food, agriculture, school fees, and for emergencies in case of disasters.

But this year the story for Licy Juma will be a little different.

Licy has managed to save some of her money in the newly organized Village Savings & Loan (VSL) that Namikango Mission helped start earlier in the year. There are 27 people in this group. Licy began saving a minimum of 200 Kwacha (28cents) a week. This was added to the pool of money contributed by other group members. She has a small business of selling rice and beans.

Each member who takes a loan from this VSL group fund agrees to pay the loan back to the VSL at around 20% interest. As more and more people take loans and pay them back, the pool increases. At the end of the nine-month cycle, the total sum in the fund is paid out to each member based on how much they saved with the group (how many shares they bought).

This year the Nanyenga VSL group saved $418, but their savings grew to $731 which was shared out to the 27 members. This means each member received 75% more than what they initially saved. Licy Juma saved $42 and at the end, she received $73. She plans to use this money for planting and for school fees for her children. This is one time she is sure her children will be able to report for school on the very first day.

Licy is one of the many success stories VSL has registered this year. With 1,074 members in all groups in the pilot phase, the members have saved a total of $12,200 and they have generated a net profit of $5,890 (48.25%) through interest on loan repayments.

Tinkhani Phiri (our VSL officer)