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SPRING/Ghana Adopts VSLAs to Economically Empower Women

VSLA group members purchasing shares.

Women's economic empowerment directly improves the family’s nutritional status. Village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) are community-managed groups aimed at empowering community members economically by providing them with a designated safe place to save their money and routine access to small loans and emergency insurance. SPRING/Ghana has rolled out the VSLA approach to enable members of mother-to-mother support groups to improve their economic status through subscribed savings and the provision of loans to meet immediate needs that require large capital.

Since October 2016, SPRING has created 49 VSLAs and trained members across seven SPRING districts in northern Ghana: East Gonja, Central Gonja, Kumbungu, Mion, East Mamprusi, Tatale, and Karaga. The series of trainings covered VSLA group formation; leadership and elections; social fund, share purchase, and credit policies; development of a constitution; and how to conduct savings. Each group trained has been supplied with a complete VSLA kit that includes a lockable metal cash box, padlocks, passbooks, rubber stamp, ink pad, plastic bowls, fabric bags, a calculator, and pens. The kit is meant to support the savings activity with a designated box for safekeeping the group’s funds and materials to record the activity. All of the 49 trained VSLA groups have elected their executives and commenced regular meetings and savings activities.