The Importance of Savings During a Pandemic

Many of us have hoped to get fitter or read more books during the pandemic, but much like our new year’s resolutions, it’s not always gone to plan. But for Akara Sok, 8, the pandemic has been a time to learn something that will have life changing consequences. 

 

Cufa Staff in Cambodia have been conducting home visits, a strategy we have incorporated into our CFL program since the beginning to encourage families to participate in savings, at an increased rate due to the closure of schools. Traditionally, we would originally aimed for 40 home visits during the April to June Period, but we have been able to visit over 5 times that. Thanks to this consistent effort by Cufa’s staff, Akara has been able to learn and start saving. 

 

In the brief sunny days between the rains of the monsoon, our staff are welcomed indoors by Akara’s family. While Akara, currently engrossed in her schoolwork, sits with her brother, our staff had a chance to speak with her mother. She says before being a part of the CFL program, Akara would just ask her or her grandmother to buy something, and there was no concept of saving because to Akara, it was just such a small amount.

After receiving the financial literacy training from Cufa, Akara quickly took up saving money. She started saving 200 riels a day (Just over 5 cents), and with consistent discipline and a bit of extra savings on the side, she was able to save 30,000 riels. With this amount, Akara was able to buy new clothes.

 

With Akara having finished her schoolwork, our project officer conducts their home visit. Our project officer reports that now she is trying to save 500 riels a day, which she hopes to put to more clothes.