Sometimes Failure Comes Before Success
“Last year,” says Angela with a huge smile, “my family saved enough money to buy a goat!”
As background, she reveals that she used to be able to earn just a little selling tomatoes and bananas from her garden. “Before getting into a VSLA (Village Saving and Loan Association) group, I did not have a savings plan and would spend whatever I had as soon as I had it.”
Getting loans and investing in a business or to buy seeds was extremely difficult. And because the nearest bank was 45 minutes away by bus, Angela and most of her neighbors kept any money they had at home, risking total loss from fire or robbery.
Her life changed completely when she joined the VSLA in 2019. She borrowed a small sum to buy some lake fish to resell in her village. With her profit, she bought brooms from a distant village and sold them for twice what she paid. She learned how to put aside something every week even as she spent money on household necessities. By 2020 she’d earned enough to buy the goat, which allows her to give some of its milk to her two children and sell the rest.
During the VSLA’s first year in 2018, however, things did not go so well. Members took out loans to buy improved cassava plantings, but lost much of the plantings to baboons. They rescued what they could and moved the new variety to better-protected fields. Because they didn’t have surplus cassava to sell as planned, some members did not return the loans, and the group had to be dissolved. Nevertheless, people in the community learned how to work together to solve such problems. By 2019, the group decided to try again, and their success is making a difference. Not just in the members’ lives, but in the community as a whole, as staples and other much-needed items become available to them for purchase closer to home.
Mozambique North Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner Diocese of Niassa