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Saving for Family and Future

Charming Naw Chit, a 9-year-old sponsored child, lives with her family in a small village in Kayin State, southern Myanmar. Most families in Naw Chit’s village work in the paddy fields, including her mother, Daw Than Kyi.

"My daughter, Naw Chit, wants to be a school teacher. It is her dream, so I want to support her,” says Daw Than Kyi, 34.

“Working in the paddy fields is really tiring and I earn only 3,000 kyats (around $23 HKD) a day, I cannot rely on that job since it is mostly seasonal work,” says Daw Than Kyi.

As her income is barely enough for daily survival, Daw Than Kyi has had to borrow money from the local moneylender to pay for her children’s school related fees.

One day, Daw Than Kyi was invited to attend a World Vision meeting. During the meeting, World Vision staff explained the objectives and benefits of saving, and invited everyone to join a saving group known as Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA). Some people were a bit reluctant to participate, but not Daw Than Kyi.

“I decided to participate in the saving group as I believed it would support my family. Moreover, I trust World Vision,” says Daw Than Kyi, who did not know how to save money before joining the programme. She and other group members discussed the goals and rules of the group, and they agreed upon them as a team.

When the agreed time arrived to withdraw her savings, Daw Than Kyi discovered she had saved 170,000 kyats (around $1,300 HKD).

“I bought a concrete water storage tank and pipes as well as a pig, and spent the rest on household expenses,” says Daw Than Kyi. “Now, I don’t need to queue up for a long time to fetch water and we can use water whenever we need to.”

“I can use water to bathe at my home and we have enough water,” says Naw Chit. Daw Than Kyi’s savings has created a better life for her family, especially her children. She has also made good friends with people from the group. Together, they plan to organise a child saving group to help children develop the habit of saving.

“Now, I don’t need to borrow money from others, I will continue to participate in this saving group and will encourage other families to participate in the saving group, too,” shares Daw Than Kyi.

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