Thursday, March 4, 2010

With a Little HOPE, VSL Group Thrives

In Zambezia Province of Mozambique, Project HOPE has been running the savings and loans mobilisation program for quite a while. Over the life of the project we have had over 300 groups that have been formed and trained in the methodology.

One of these groups is called “Esperan├ža” which means “Hope” in Portuguese. This group is based on the outskirts of Mocuba and they have been with Project HOPE since almost the beginning of the project, but now function very independently. To date they are continuing to save money on a regular basis and give out loans to members of the group. As a result of working with us, they decided to form an “association” which is a legally registered body of people with the government that has a constitution and board. By doing this they are better able to access help from other NGOs and even government funds.

Each of the members of the group owns at least 1 hectare of land on which they produce corn, peanuts and other vegetables. The group’s idea was to try to access markets in Mocuba and sell surplus product there, thus generating income. One of the biggest challenges to this is knowing what to do with the food once it is harvested, and so the group had the idea of together building a storehouse where produce could be stored in a safe location until either they could arrange transport to get the produce to town, or even better, have a buyer come and pick it up from them.

To help them in time for this current harvest season, Project HOPE, through its generous donors was able to supplement what the group had already saved up and donated $800.00 to complete the construction of this storehouse.

Thanks for Reading
-Stefan

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