In spite of the violence in C.A.R. over the past few years, the Village Savings and Loan Program has continued to have a remarkable economic impact on communities and individuals. In these groups, no outside capital is invested, so participants do not become indebted to an outsider. Instead, members contribute what they can at weekly meetings. Loans are made from the combined savings, and at the end of a cycle, the savings and collected fees are distributed to participants.
Begun in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in C.A.R. via a European Union grant, over 160 savings groups were initially created. The E.U. grant ended, but church leaders wanted to continue training new groups in the program so that it would continue to grow. LPGM stepped in to assist in that growth.
Today, LPGM supports 491 VSL associations that engage 12,482 members. The program’s continued growth amidst the country’s challenges affirms our belief in efforts to educate and empower community members to foster sustainable improvements, one person at a time.