Mobilising Community Members to Benefit from their Village Saving Banks

As Myanmar continues to experience hardship due to the effects of Covid-19, as well as political instability, Cufa’s field officers recently met with Thawda, a 46-year-old mother of four, whose knowledge of regularly saving provided by Cufa, has led her to mobilise members of her community to grow her local Village Savings Bank.

Before attending the financial literacy training as part of the Myanmar CUD Project, Thawda says “I did not think savings played an important role for community development and I did not know how to save systematically with community people”. However, since 2016 Thawda has been committed to regularly deposit small savings to her Village Savings Bank, hoping to grow her savings and obtain interest.

Among other benefits, her Village Savings Bank allows its members to apply for loans and easily withdraw money from their savings. These simple withdrawals, however, cannot be provided by the local government and private banks, and because of Thawda’s saving performance, she was able to obtain a loan to expand her grocery shop and manage daily cash in/out.

Recently, Thawda along with some of her fellow villagers discussed the impact of their Village Savings Banks and agreed that their Village Savings Bank needs to become self-sustainable and effective, as their local government support has been delayed.

“As I now understand more about savings and how it benefits members of my community to become self-sustainable, I have mobilised seven people to become members in our Village Savings Bank.”

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