Many families live on less than $2 per day – this means families struggle to find money for food, school fees or medicine. Without access to banks, most impoverished families live without a financial safety net for emergencies.
Savings groups act as banks for the poor. Through savings groups, men and women who are struggling financially are organized into small groups to save their money collectively and safely. As collective savings increase, group members can take out loans with small interest rates.
How it Works
Savings groups are made up of 10 to 20 women or men organized by Food for the Hungry (FH) staff to meet weekly. Members contribute a small amount of money to a group treasury during each gathering. FH staff teach group members how to read, write, run small businesses and manage money.
Group members have access to more money than they could ever save on their own. An emergency fund is available to all group members for illness and other emergency needs. At the end of the year, all money and accrued interest is split up between the members.
Many children born into poverty die every year from preventable causes. Day-old infants die from eating oatmeal, instead of being breastfed. Children with fevers die from being immersed into hot water to cure it. When mothers are given basic medical knowledge – children's lives are saved.
In Food for the Hungry (FH) care groups, women learn life-saving medical information and teach it to other women in their village. Because women learn from trusted sources (their friends or family), they put into practice habits and skills that prevent disease, death and malnutrition – dropping the numbers of child mortality..
How it Works
One FH staff trains 10 groups of 10 to 15 women about hygiene, nutrition, treating illness and other health information. After training, group members become "mother leaders" or a respected, knowledgeable source in their community for promoting good health.
These women or "mother leaders" form their own care groups and teach health practices to 10 to 15 women each. As this social networking unfolds, one FH staff can reach almost 1,000 women in a village. Through groups and relationships, life-saving information spreads fast and permanently. In some communities, care groups have decreased child mortality by 62 percent.