Recently, we met with Nan Thein, a mother of two, who previously to implementing the CUD program in rural communities in Myanmar, had no access to finance and limited financial knowledge, resulting in limited resources to overcome intergenerational poverty.
Financial access has been historically difficult for remote communities in Myanmar. More recently, the instability and COVID-19 lockdown measures continue have added additional pressures. Accessing finance such as loans and basic cash withdrawals have become more dire. Customers with commercial banks need to queue as early as 4am to withdraw money, often for several days and may not be able to withdraw due to limited funds in commercial banks due to the high demand of cash withdrawals.
Having access to a community savings bank developed using a grassroots approach, members such as Nan continue to access loans to own a grocery shop. Nan has been depositing small savings since 2016, her savings have increased which she has enjoyed watching and remained in a safe community-owned and operated financial institution. “I’m very happy, as I got into the habit of saving money regularly, along with my villagers, supporting each other and building trust”.
Cufa’s systematic training sessions have equipped Nan with increased financial knowledge and strong savings habits and budgeting which today, have enabled her to successfully borrow USD $500 to put towards having her own grocery shop.