Saturday 1 October 2022

Vincent, 45, is a member of Namwekho Village Savings and Loan (VSL). He has a small family of three children— two boys and one girl. When Save the Children, through its Sponsorship livelihood program, introduced VSL at his village as part of improving the livelihood of families, Vincent joined and immediately started saving.

Save the Children introduced VSL to promote the culture of saving and to bring financial services closer to the community. In the long run, this intervention would bring financial freedom to the families, who in turn, are able to support their children’s basic school needs.

Before he joined the VSL group, Vincent had financials challenges and he had no one to run to for financial support. “As a husband, it always hurt me to see my wife’s dream of starting a doughnuts business fading away because I failed to provide capital to her. It also affected our relationship. And this negatively affected our children. In my mind, I knew very well that if she started her business that would be great empowerment to her,” he said.

Like any loving husband and father, Vincent had an ambition of dressing his children in fine clothes and in supporting his wife’s dream of starting a business. But Vincent was always frustrated with his financial challenges.

After joining the VSL, Save the Children drilled Vincent and the other members on the benefits of VSL and on the general understanding of how it works.

From the first two ‘group share outs,’ Vincent bought two goats—a first step in setting up a goat project.

He chose this project as he had raised goats before and felt he had enough experience. This incisive decision has paid off because the goats have multiplied to six.

The VSL has brought financial freedom in his family. In his recent share out last was January, he remembered the dream of his wife of starting a business. So, he took part of the share and gave to his wife as her capital for her dream business. This very action has greatly improved their relationship. With the other part of the share, he started a business of selling firewood in the village.

“Today I don’t rely on friends whenever I want to borrow money. I simply go to the Village Saving Loans to borrow. It is reliable and accessible at any time I want to

borrow money,” he said.

He added: “I encourage everyone but especially men to join VSL groups immediately because it is one of the best ways to fight poverty among other benefits. Most men think that the Village Saving Loan is for women only. Many thanks to Save the Children for introducing us to this economic developmental group.”

After the VSL’s current cycle’s share out, he plans to renovate his house which was heavily damaged by the persistent rains that destroyed crops and houses in his village.