With your support, a total of 1,500 women have continued to develop their savings to great success. Every week, each woman has been depositing a minimum of 10 taka (or approximately $.15) in savings that is recorded in individual “passbooks” supplied to them. They receive 5% yearly interest compared to the 4 % interest of a commercial bank.
The women have been reaching their objectives in developing their savings, having funds available for family emergencies, and in becoming increasingly empowered and self-sufficient.
Additionally, 130 group members have received financial support in the form of microcredit for a variety of income-generating activities. Over the last reporting period:
• 20 women received support for vegetable cultivation and sales
• 70 women received support for small business (grocery shops, tea stalls, etc) and handicraft production (bamboo and cane work, pottery, etc)
• 30 women received support for poultry-raising projects.
For these women, who are of the tribal minority and hardcore poor (i.e. those who live on US $1 or less per person per day), being able to develop their own income and save money has been nothing short of life changing. Not only are the women able to increase their families’ standard of living and better meet their nutritional needs, but they are also experiencing increased decision-making power within the family. Where women traditionally have had few rights and face much discrimination and oppression, this is a great move forward. For example, SATU has reported that as a result of the weekly group meetings, many women have become quite outspoken and their confidence level has been significantly enhanced.
SATU’s work with women’s groups has long combined education workshops with sustainable agriculture and business development. With your generous support, their approach to reducing poverty– combining the women’s group model with projects in improving health, food security, and water and sanitation issues— continues to be a proven recipe for sustainable success.