At the end of February Julious Abate, the Agriculture Officer with the Diocese of Liwolo, and the rest of the Savings and Agriculture teams held two Saving Conferences. The aim of these conferences was to share knowledge, tips and stories with the groups to inspire them and help them to continue growing in strength.
“The events were colourful, marked with lots of joy and excitement. Representatives from local authorities, religious leaders and other stakeholders all attended.
Bishop Joseph was able to give a brief background of how CRESS came in to support these projects with the Diocese of Liwolo, and ended his speech with a powerful word of God.
The attendance was 218 from Imvepi Refugee Settlement and 621 from Mijale area. Altogether, 839 group members attended.”
The Savings Groups key aims are:
- Ensure proper feeding and reduce malnutrition among children.
- Provide access to financial stability
- Promote the spirit of self-reliance and reduce dependency
- Promote peaceful co-existent among communities of different cultural backgrounds
The impact the project is having:
- The projects have turned many of the group members into businesswomen creating many different kinds of businesses e.g., operating small hotels, selling pancakes, selling fish and other items.
- Many of the members were able to build houses for themselves, bought land for agriculture, bought animals e.g., cows, goats, and chicken.
Looking forward, what are the hopes for this project?
- We hoped that this project would create other sustaining projects, such as grinding mills, hardware shops, general merchandise shops etc.
- It is our prayer and hope that this project would lead to the creation of financial institutions, such as a savings and credit company (SACCO), which develops into a community rural bank in future.