Lea en español (traducido por Google) *** Lisez en français (traduit par Google)
Congratulations to this week’s winner of the Raffle for Institutional Action Plan submitters, Global Bahumukhi Sahakari Sanstha Limited of Nepal!
The following post is prepared by Global Bahumukhi Sahakari Sanstha Limited
There has always been a culture of saving in the Saptari district where Global Bahumukhi Sahakari Sanstha Limited (GBSSL) works. However, those who cannot save have always faced compounding problems, leading to worsening living conditions.
Because most women have extremely low income, they are not able to save and are in need of financial help as well as support. In fact, their daily wages are insufficient to provide even for daily meals.
Under these conditions, there is no expectation to save, although the majority realize it is important. Our clients were unable to save money because of poor financial conditions. Within this context, GBSSL Chairman, Mr. Sukharam Yadav, shared a unique rice saving idea for women, the Handful Saving and Development Program.
Watch a video prepared by GBSSL (in Nepali)
In Nepalese society, each family eats rice at lunch and dinner. Under the Handful Saving and Development Program, a female member of the family separates a handful of rice from the rice used for the twice-daily meals into a 5 kg pot GBSSL provides to its members free of charge.
Those daily handful savings of rice become 60 handfuls of rice in a month, weighing 4 to 4.5 kg. At market, these bags yield NRS 120 to 150 (US$ 1.50 – $ 2.00).
Without depleting the family’s daily food ration too greatly, the woman is able to easily save a great amount. At the end of the month all members bring the pot to the group meeting, where a volunteer weighs the rice in front of the rest of the group. Afterwards, according to the market price of rice, the savings amount that is equivalent to the price of the rice is deposited into the members’ account, which is also noted in the member’s passbook.
A woman can save approximately NRS 1400 to 1800 ($20 – $30) in a year. After 3 months of saving, she can obtain a $100 – $300 microentrepreneur loan along with a group recommendation. The Handful Savings initiative helps build the women’s self-confidence and gives them dignity among their families and communities.
Today, more than 6,000 women are actively involved in microcredit through the Handful Saving and Development Program. Our work is recognized at the local and national levels. With Handful Saving not only are women saving cash; they learn about a more innovative savings concept.
About the organization:
Global Bahumukhi Sahakari Sanstha Limited was established in 2000 under Cooperative Act, 1991 and has been working in the Saptari district Eastern development region of Nepal. Saptari is the largest district in Nepal with 114 Village Development Committees and 1 Municipality. The majority of the population lives below the poverty line and are of minority ethnicity. Of the total population, 94.7% live in rural areas and their major occupation is farming and agricultural labor.