SAVING TOGETHER AND CELEBRATING TOGETHER
Our Communications Manager, Alex, visited some VIP groups in Malawi, just after they had ‘shared-out’ after their first savings cycle.
The atmosphere in the small village in Balaka was incredible as we joined two VIP groups to hear about their first savings cycle, and how it has changed their lives. The women all danced and sang, surrounded by intrigued children, as well as the Village Chief who supported the initiative from the start. What struck me was their pure joy at what they had achieved in just eight months of savings and loans. They had built small businesses, improved their homes, invested in livestock and crucially now feel like active members of their communities. The orphans and other children in their care attend school, now the fees can be paid; their loved ones are healthier, now they can buy more food; and friends visit their homes, now they are proud hosts, able to offer small luxuries like sugar and relishes.
One lady invited us to go with her to buy the goat she had been saving for, and we were accompanied by dozens of others all dancing, singing and cheering to celebrate her achievement. Neighbours told us they felt inspired to join VIP groups themselves, having seen what these women had accomplished in such a short time. I have so much respect for the extraordinary efforts each VIP member had put into transforming their own lives and the lives of the little ones in their care. I hope I never forget the overwhelming feeling of hope that literally spread throughout the village as these incredible women shared their stories, beaming with joy.
This video of the VIP groups dancing and singing together in celebration captures the wonderful atmosphere!