Savings Groups Report, November 2013
In just over 2 years, 325 Savings (Self-Help) Groups have formed in West Arsi, Ethiopia. The groups are from 3 districts or ‘Woredas’ and are comprised of 5307 members. In some areas of Ethiopia, women make up nearly all the SHG members. No so in this region. Out of the 5307 members, 1988 are men and 3319 are women. The men have clearly seen the benefit of joining a Savings Group and we are pleased that many groups are coed, fostering an environment of mutual support between genders.
The groups have saved and grown a total of 665,426 ETB, averaging 2,047 per group. We’ve shared many stories of impact the groups are making. It’s been said, some efforts to help the poor are like pulling the drowning out of a raging river. While others head upstream and figure out why the people are falling in, in the first place, and how this can be avoided. Savings Groups take the long view in development strategy. We believe the Arsi Oromo, and all under-developed communities have the God-given resources and potential to advance from destitution to prosperity. We highly value our friends with Ethiopia Kale Hewot Church and their effective strategy to help poor farming families how to take advantage of what they have, to become who they were made to be.