Savings and Investment Groups
Every Sunday, four (4) groups of beneficiaries/caregivers meet to learn about group saving and the power of combined saved funds. Each person contributes AUD $1 per month and DRE contributes by matching their savings at the end of the year. The Ethiopian government then assists with cash advances and very low interest loans to increase the available capital.
The aim is also to foster small business skills through micro financing new project ideas suggested by the ‘cell members’, who collectively decide which projects to fund. The groups are encouraged to use the funds to buy income-generating items, for example, sewing machines, which will generate income and establish better long-term business prospects.
Reflecting their community spirit, each cell member also makes a ‘social contribution’ of 2 Birr (A10c) per month that is put aside to fund funerals, unexpected family health problems or other emergencies. The cell also decides how this money will be donated.