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Village Saving and Loans Associations Support People with Disabilities

From January 17th to 24th, 2016, in order to equip the members from the people with disabilities (PwDs) clubs with village savings and loan association (VSLA) knowledge and operational skills, the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) organized 07 training classes for more than 150 PwDs from the five project communes of Quang Tri Province. These classes are within the framework of the project “Empowering People with Disabilities”, implemented by SRD and funded by Caritas Australia and DFAT.

Besides providing the basic knowledge on VSLA, VSLA development within Vietnam and globally, and practicing the VSLA groups operation such as buying shares, collecting interests, recording, etc. the training also guided the club members to discuss and unify general operational regulations for each group.

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The trainees were participated in the operational trials of the VSLA group

After the training 07 VSLA groups were established and put into operation, with over 135 members and about 14 million VND mobilized (average 2 million VND/group). With this model, the groups helped 12 cases borrow loans to develop their household economies, such as poultry and livestock farming, gardening, etc.

Ms. Le Thi Thuy from quarter 2, Gio Linh Town, shared: “The class helped me learn a lot of things. At first I intended to borrow loans, but then I gave to others who were in more difficult conditions. Besides, I will save more so that I do not have to worry at the next month’s meeting.”

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The trainees took a commorative photo with the experts of the training course

Another trainee – Mr. Hoang Xuan Cuong from quarter 5, Gio Linh Town, shared: “This training provided many insights for me to live more happily. My family is still poor and I intend to raise chickens by taking out loans from this VSLA group.”

In the VSLA model, members mobilize their private savings, and then let other members borrow with a fixed interest rate and minimal insurance. Groups put in place loans for members to cover their expenses such as:

-          Cover the estimated expenses

-          Reduce livelihood shock

-          Manage household cash flow

-          Create loans to invest in short- term income generating activities

Currently, there are 60 million people participated in the VSLA model with 4 million groups and 70-85% of them connected to the bank. (Source: Care International)

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(Source: Care International in Uganda)

The VSLA model is necessary for poor people and PwDs, due to a lack of resources and financial ability to borrow money from banks to generate income and raise their family living conditions by investing in business or expanding farming. 

-SRD-

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