Savings Groups Launched

Have you ever worried about money? Perhaps the more appropriate question is, “when was the last time that you worried about money?” According to a recent study by the American Psychology Association, 72% of Americans reported feeling anxious about their finances in the past month. In addition, 64% of Americans felt that money was a somewhat significant source of stress in their lives. Clearly, Americans are living with more stress than is healthy. The good news is that those with an emotional support system experienced less stress than those who lacked emotional support.

The support associated with Employee Savings Groups at Nguvu Dairy in Uganda will have that same effect, we believe. These voluntary Savings Groups are a workable alternative to a bank. Many Ugandans do not have enough money to open a traditional account. Others do not have physical access to a bank. The groups promote personal accountability and financial responsibility. There are more than four million Africans who are members of savings groups. The countries with the largest numbers include Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and Mali.

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At Nguvu, 73 employees are participating in Savings Groups at the distribution sites in Gulu, Anaka, Kitgum, and Lira. Thanks to their work at Nguvu Dairy, these men and women are earning a steady income and are able to save money, perhaps for the first time in their lives. Site managers are seeing how the groups also help build up the team.

We invite you to partner with us in this life-changing work — helping more Ugandans become more financially stable. The Market Project provides ongoing training in managing the effects of trauma and business mentorship, while creating real jobs.

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The monthly earnings at Nguvu give hope for a better future. The Savings Groups offer a new, longer-term perspective in what is possible. Each group has a chairperson, secretary and treasurer. Each member has contributed a minimum of 5,000 Ugandan shillings (~ $1.50) and the groups’ funds are being saved in bank accounts. Research indicates that in East Africa there is a high success rate: over 90% of these savings groups continue for more than five years.

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