What We Are Learning

CARE Canada

Program:
Financial Inclusion
Purpose:

Expand village savings and loan associations (VSLAs)

Amount:
$2 million
Term:
2009-2012
Location:
Rwanda

Why We Partnered

CARE’s mission is to address the underlying causes of poverty and social injustice. It serves approximately 55 million people each year in developing countries. CARE is an international confederation of twelve organizations, including CARE Canada.

Rwanda has a population of approximately 9.5 million people. Eighty percent of them live in rural areas and on less than $2 a day. CARE will facilitate the expansion of village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) across the country. VSLAs are savings-led, community-managed groups in which the loan capital comes from the group’s accumulated savings. Each group sets its own rules about membership, savings, and loans. CARE will work with microfinance providers to customize their services to groups who want more diverse products such as larger loans, microinsurance and payment services. It will also test strategies to facilitate the efficient formation of groups.

This program is part of a coordinated global learning initiative with other organizations to generate new knowledge on cost-effective ways to offer financial services to remote poor. 

Impact

  • Project exceeded targets. Served 144,000 and indirectly served 500,000.
  • The project improved more than just the economic returns and opportunities from financial access. Access to healthcare, food security, and standard of living has benefitted. Almost half of participants are now accessing formal financial services.
  • This project was innovative because it found a way to reach the most poor and vulnerable people cost-effectively while improving access to the formal financial sector. 97 percent of the project’s clients live on less than $2 a day.