29 September 2020
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Thursday, 16 April 2020 09:39

VSL forums hailed for empowering women economically

Written by  Aaron Banda
VSL forums changes lives of women VSL forums changes lives of women

Mchinji, April 15: Centre for Research Development Initiative (CERAD) has described Village Savings and Loans (VSLs) Program as a pillar in empowering women economically.

Speaking on Monday, during a meeting the organisation had with leaders of different VSL groups in Traditional Authority Simphasi in the district, CERAD Project Coordinator, Malizani Mdara said VSLs provide an opportunity for women to become financially stable.

He said the meeting was aimed at training the women on financial literacy and entrepreneurship under ‘Life Long Learning Project for Mothers (L3M).

Through the VSLs, women make savings, contributions and also borrow; hence they are able to invest in the farms and other income generating activities.

Mdara also said VSLs play a critical role in bringing financial services to rural areas where access to formal financial services is very limited.

“The VSLs are very vital in the sense that 80 per cent of our people in Malawi live in rural areas and if we empower these people and become financially sound, our development will have a foundation which will be sustainable.

“So, VLS help in bringing financial services to the rural areas,” said Mdara.

One of the participants Genoveva Chiwanga of Tikondane VSL said Village Savings and Loans groups have helped her to buy livestock and pay school fees for her children.

“VSLs have also helped us women to have a high degree of control over decision making in business and food expenses,” she said.

The L3M with funding from Common Wealth of Learning has been working with 100 VSL groups in Mchinji with the aim of empowering women on how to run VSLs effectively.
He said a survey conducted by the organisation revealed that most of the groups lacked technical know-how in running the VSLs.




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