One of the main goals of creating a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) is to support local economic development through financial intermediation. A VSLA is a group of people who collectively support a structured process to save money and provide loans at the local level. They provide a simple and accountable savings and lending system for communities that do not have easy access to formal financial services or are underserved by formal financial institutions such as banks or microfinance companies.
Under the SR-MAGARAMEZA project, IPROSARUDE has already created more than 600 VSLAs in the provinces of Gitega, Mwaro, Kayanza, in order to diversify the livelihood activities of local people, who depend mainly on agriculture and small and large livestock. VSLAs bring together community members who save for mutually agreed-upon goals and take out small loans from these savings to expand their businesses, pay school fees for their children, and support household activities.
The VSLA group called Turahari in Kayokwe commune, Mwaro province, Kibumbu hill is one of the VSLA groups formed under the “SR-MAGARAMEZA” project. Josephine Munezero, a member of the Turahari group, took out a loan of 235,000 Burundian francs to start a livestock project. She started with two pigs and within a year has more than 11 pigs and piglets on her farm, worth about 880,000 Burundian francs. She is very happy to be part of the VSLA group.
Josephine, the beneficiary of the SR-AMAGARAMEZA project, said: “The VSLA has been very beneficial for many of us in this village. I thank IPROSARUDE wholeheartedly, and during the sharing of this cycle, I contributed 360,000 Burundian francs and received 523,000 Burundian francs. I intend to reinvest this money in my piggery activity”.