VILLAGE INVESTORS PROGRAM
Economically empowering those who care for vulnerable children.
One of the biggest challenges that vulnerable children face is that without financial security at home and in their community, long-term access to an education, basic necessities, good health and safety are significantly reduced. In communities where there are a high number of low-income households, and where there is no access to formal financial services, they are at even more acute risk.
Through our Village Investors Program (VIP), we establish village savings and loans groups for parents and guardians of vulnerable children and the volunteers from our other programs. We do this by:
community members as VIP Facilitators who are responsible for forming, teaching and managing VIP groups in their area.
VIP members how to pool their money together to form a community banking system, which provides them with a safe place to save their money and take loans. VIP groups only use internally generated funds and have no external funding.
members in financial and entrepreneurial skills so they can start and grow their own businesses.
each group with a VIP tool kit, which includes a safety cash box, padlocks, financial notebooks, savings bowls and calculators.
each group to set up a group enterprise, the profit from which is used to increase the loan capital of the group.
each VIP has a savings pot that is specifically for vulnerable children within their community so they can be supported with food, school fees and materials.
Using the VIP structure, members can take out loans to expand their businesses and then save their profits in the group.
Mobile banking has been helping our VIP groups in Kenya continue saving and loaning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read our blog to discover how digital finance is emerging as a safe and secure way of managing money and supporting businesses.
THE POWER OF DATA
We are so grateful to our long-term corporate supporter, Qlik, who worked with us in 2019 to develop a dashboard that automatically analyzes the economic and social data we collect from every savings and loans group formed since we launched the VIP in 2014.
The dashboard has a wealth of information and powerful statistics which demonstrate the success and scale of the program, and it gives us the ability to track the progress of the VIP in “real-time”. Take a look for yourself below… (to see the dashboard at its best, please view it on your desktop or laptop!)
“Once we have saved our money, we put all of it on the table and we lend it to each other. We use the money from our businesses and then return it with interest.”
Beatrice is a member of our VIP in Kenya, and is now providing for her grandchildren through a number of businesses.
By being part of the VIP, parents, guardians and community volunteers start to earn a sustainable income through their businesses. Therefore:
More children can attend school because their parents can afford fees, books, pens and uniforms.
Children are better protected as VIP members are able to secure their homes or build new ones.
VIP members can afford to buy food for the children in their care and fertilizer to grow produce.
Members can buy “naturally reproducing assets” such as goats, cattle, hens and pigs, which provide an economic safety net for their family.