A room of skeptical faces were staring back at me. My impassioned description of the success of the savings group program elsewhere seemed to be falling on deaf ears. The participants were simply not buying this idea of introducing savings groups in areas where we were already working. How were three locks and a box and this simple methodology going to make a difference? Realizing we were getting nowhere sitting around talking about the groups, we stopped what we were doing, cleared the schedule for the day and headed for an impromptu meeting with members of one of the pilot groups that we (World Vision) had recently helped start. After about an hour of discussion with group members, something very interesting happened; all of the skeptics began to show a real interest in trying savings groups in their own communities. In fact, they were enthusiastic and eager to get started. An hour sitting with a savings group accomplished more than hours of trying to explain the methodology and its benefits in a workshop.
Following this experience, I realized that, particularly in countries where savings groups do not yet exist, a “virtual” study visit would be quite helpful in both promoting the savings group methodology and supporting its implementation. Fortunately, I drive to work with our Videographer and the result of our subsequent collaboration is this training video package. It includes introductory and promotional videos, a series of short training videos to be used alongside the VSLA guide, and several case studies from the Philippines highlighting both the economic and social benefits of savings groups. We hope to add some case studies from other regions and provide French, Spanish and Portuguese versions over the course of the next year.
Step 1 - Opening the Meeting
Step 2 - Daily Savings
Step 3 - Share Purchasing
Step 4 - Loan Repayment
Step 5 - Calculating New Loan Fund
Step 6 - Loan Taking
Step 7 - The Social Fund
Step 8 - Totaling Balances
Step 9 - Closing the Meeting
I hope you will find these useful and would welcome your feedback.