Women in Mali are saving $50,000 per year, and they’re doing it 25 cents at a time.
Since 2013, we have helped women in peri-urban communities gather and share their funds by making loans to one another to pay for healthcare expenses, or for small income-generating activity. They organize savings groups of 15-20 women, elect group leaders, and set rules for contributing and borrowing. The average weekly contribution is about one quarter (25 cents).
“Simply put when money flows into the hands of women who have the authority to use it, everything changes.” – Melinda Gates
When women come together in their communities – they can be an amazing force for change. They are leading the way in finding local, sustainable solutions to improve access to care. They are proving that we can remove burdensome user fees without removing agency.
Whenever there is an emergency or urgent medical need, the women in my savings group know to come to me to get a health loan because the money belongs to all of us. I really enjoy being the president of this group because we are all women, we all help each other and we all work together.
– Sokona, president of her savings group in Lassa
HOW WOMEN LEAD
Since 2018, we have supported women in savings groups to form cooperatives that produce health-promoting products, like soap and peanut butter, right in their communities. They not only make valuable resources more available to their neighbors, they are increasing their incomes, as well. Read more.
Savings for Health and Reproductive Empowerment (SHARE) is a special savings group for pregnant women that helps them prepare for the additional costs and challenges associated with giving birth, while also ensuring they receive all their maternal healthcare at their local health center. Read more about SHARE.
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