The VSLA approach has positively changed the lives of rural people in Mwaro province

 “May the Good Lord bless the promoters of this good project”, these are the prayers of the members of VSLA TWITEZIMBERE met on Kibogoye Hill, Kayokwe Zone, Kayokwe Commune of the Mwaro Province; this Thursday, January 8, 2021.

VSLA, an approach that speaks for itself in Mwaro

The VSLA system helps to improve the lives of beneficiaries through the savings and credit system. “When I need money right away, I don’t have to go to all the neighboring households anymore. It’s easy and it happens in total privacy. I was even able to buy two goats thanks to the savings and credit system. “, said Mr. Laurent Mugwira, president of the Twitezimbere group.  Kayoya Nestor, provincial coach (Mwaro), from the iprosarude side said he was satisfied with the work of the savings and credit groups in Mwaro. “They are determined; it is easy to work with them. The majority have already invested in something,” Kayoya added.

“The Nawe Nuze program initiated by Iprosarude  (Initiative for the Promotion of Rural Health and Development), which aims at creating VSLAs, is lifting us out of poverty and leading us towards self-development. This is the reaction of Mrs. Générose Nzoyihaya, a member of the Turimaso savings and credit group of the Kayokwe zone in Mwaro. Three years after the start of the “Nawe Nuze” project, implemented by Iprosarude, the living conditions of the rural populations supported by this program have improved. This is the observation noticed in the field, during the 2020 season, both in the central and northern part of the project, namely in the provinces of Mwaro, Gitega and Kayanza .

In the implementation of this project, the VSLA approach is promoted by Iprosarude. It is based on three pillars. It is the technical pillar with training in financial education, the economic pillar through the approach itself Village Savings and Loans Associations or Association Villageoise d’Epargne et Crédit – AVEC in French as well as the social pillar through financial empowerment which aims to support VSLA members in the development of micro projects. 

“Before joining a savings and loan group on Kayokwe Hill, I had never received 50,000 Burundian francs in my entire life. Now, even my husband is surprised because sometimes I lend him more than 100,000 Burundian francs. My life finally has a meaning, I am so proud of myself. And I even manage to buy fertilizer for my fields. Production has increased thanks to the mixture of organic manure with mineral fertilizers. I manage to feed my family,” said Mrs. Caroline Ntibashirinzigo, a member of a VSLA Tubehamwe from Kayokwe Hill, Kayokwe commune in Mwaro province.

For her part, Béatrice Ntahomvukiye of the Twiyunge savings and credit group of Kayokwe hill, Mwaro province, assured that the lessons learned through the VSLA approach have led her to understand that having an account in a micro finance is not only reserved for government officials . She added that it has had a positive impact on her family life because she feels very important when she stands in line with other civil servants when it comes to paying into a micro-finance account. Denise has invested in pig breeding and agriculture, and now she buys entire fields, plants vegetables and sells them at the market.  In short, the improvement of good savings and credit practices through the lessons learned during the implementation of the Nawe Nuze program is increasingly a reality throughout the project’s intervention area for Iprosarude.

The change can be seen in the multiplication of savings and credit groups in the hills, the entrepreneurship initiatives of VSLA members, the culture of learning new things from the peasants, and the social cohesion that can be seen among the members of the savings and credit groups. It is  a real positive change in the lives of rural populations.