In Liberia there is a widespread movement of “village savings and loan associations” (VSLA), which primarily help with income-generating measures. In each selected community in south-eastern Liberia, medica Liberia has set up a VSLA, which generally has 20 women members. The five or six women in the Women Support group of that community form the board of directors of the village savings and loan association.
Income-generating concept: Each participating woman pays a membership contribution and, in return, she is entitled to borrow money from the VSLA. She might need this to pay school fees or invest in seeds. She then has to pay back this money, plus interest. These interest payments then form an emergency fund, which is administered by the directors (members of the Women Support group). The emergency fund also receives money in the form of “fines”, which have to be paid if, for example, a member fails to attend the weekly meeting without excusing themselves in advance. Part of the interest payments can also be paid out to the women in the group at the end of the year.