CARE Gifts in Action

Village savings and loan kit recipients smile at the camera

Village Savings and Loan Kit

"It all started with a metal lock box that was equipped with three padlocks and three keys," says Fatchima Aboubacar.

Fatchima, pictured here with her granddaughter Nana, is a member of the first Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA), which started in Niger in 1991.

Each key had a separate keeper among a group of women. Soon, they started working together to deposit, save, and lend each other money from the lock box. The women met weekly under a shady tree alongside other women in the community.

Since the group first began, members have saved and deposited each week in their gray metal lock box which is still used today. Micro loans are distributed among the members which allow them to pay for food or medical expenses, start a business, educate their children, and more. Fatchima never attended school, but the group savings unlocked other opportunities for her.

With the added income from the group, her life changed. She was able to feed her children more nutritious food and, as they got older, she was able to pay for their weddings as they started families of their own. The savings also allowed her to build a semi-concrete with a metal roof leaving her straw home behind. The hut still sits a few feet from her door but now shelters goats instead of people.

"When you're a part of [VSLA], your voice and advice are respected," says Fatchima's granddaughter Nana.

Give a Goat

When Maliyana's father passed away, her mother was left to raise two children on her own. The family had many struggles and often went without food.

CARE provided Maliyana's family with some goats. A goat is a wonderful way for a family to generate income while protein-rich goat milk provides nutrition for children and improved family health.

"When the goats came to our household they brought so much joy," says Maliyana. One goat can provide up to 16 glasses of protein filled milk.

A woman smiles at the camera

Help a Woman Start a Business

Bedryyah is a Syrian refugee who came to Jordan to find safety and a better life. Now not only is she able to feed her eight children, but also her community. She has her own catering business, and from her own simple small kitchen, she's selling her delicious food to people she knows, organizations, and bazaars.

Through business training that she got from CARE, she learned how to get more customers to her kitchen and how to market her products.

"The program has made my life better," says Bedryyah. "I don't need anyone to pay the rent, my electricity, and water any longer. When the people in my village offer me positive feedback for what I am doing, I feel like one of the proudest people in the world."

A school girl in her school uniform stands in her classroom

Send a girl to school

Pamela (8) is a Grade 1 student at a remote elementary school in Papua New Guinea's highlands that is benefiting from CARE's support.

Pamela loves school, and her teacher has high hopes for her: "Pamela can speak English, and read and write very well. She is great in class."

I would like to be a teacher when I grow up," says Pamela. "To do that I will need to get educated and do well in school. I will have to get good marks on tests, and I will have to go to bigger schools, and then college."

"Girls' education is so important," says Pamela's teacher. "There are so many jobs that women can do in this country, so girls need to be just as educated as boys."