Kyar Chaung village is a rural village situated north of Yangon in Myanmar that was recently transformed by one of Cufa’s programs. Most of the villagers here are farmers with low incomes and many of them lack any kind of financial knowledge. The community had a poor understanding of how to manage a business and without the ability to develop a business plan or savings habits there was a large loss of income for them.
The Cufa Myanmar team began working in Kyar Chaung village as part of the Credit Union Development program in April 2018. The program came to the village to reduce the level of poverty in the town and turn many of these villagers lives around. Since Cufa began working, aiming to raise the towns average income and introduce good savings habits, the townspeople have been highly engaged and happy for the introduction of the program. Cufa’s financial literacy lessons were the first time in their life they had had the benefits of saving explained. The Cufa team taught the community how to start saving, set saving goals, manage daily or monthly income and expenses and how to co-operate with a team.
In August 2018, thanks to the program, the village made the decision to start their own community-owned bank. They named it Shwe Taung Kyar Saving Bank and started with 179 members. Once they all had a safe and secure place to save their money they felt great and excited to expand it.
Currently, the villagers have regular meetings and training with the Cufa team and their community-owned bank is still developing. Many of the villagers are managing their businesses much more effectively and have developed business plans. As well as this, the townspeople do not have to borrow money at high interest rates and have a better education and understanding of financial concepts.
Villagers from Kyar Chaung village are now saving their money and doing it with pleasure. They have built a strong community-owned bank and both they and Cufa see a bright future for the village.
Find out more about how Cufa is providing financial access with the Credit Union Development program.