Savings Group Promises a Better Life
Living in Kwango, 195 kilometres from Kinshasa, Gauthier experienced much difficulty sending his children to school as well as taking good care of them. He did not know how to save his money and often ran into debt.
by Didier Nagifi
“To send my children to school, I borrowed some money with a 50 % interest. As I could not pay off the debt, the interest continued to increase, it was difficult!” Recalls Gautier.
To help people in similar situations in Kwango, World Vision introduced a savings group approach where several associations were trained and established in Kwango City. The objective of this approach was to help families save and increase their income.
Thanks to this approach, Gauthier learnt how to solve the financial problems he was facing in an organised manner.
“After joining the saving group, I built a new house for my children and now I know how to pay for their studies without having to borrow money,” says Gauthier. His children are also excited at how their living conditions are improving.
“Before, we had a house which was in poor condition. At night, we counted stars through the holes in the roof, many insects that would bite us and the walls of the house were full of cracks. Moreover, we were not protected during harsh weather. But now, my siblings and I are very satisfied with the new house built by our dad,” says 7-year-old Richesse.
Standing in front of their old house, Francoise, 9, adds, “This house was bad. When it rained, our exercise books, clothes, mattresses, all got wet. And we were deprived of sleep because there was not even a single place that was not leaking and damp. But today, we do not have to worry anymore, even if it rains during the night, we are dry and safe.”
“I have never thought that my husband would one day build a house with steel and guarantee the future of our children, but thanks to World Vision and sponsors who support his training, we are now seeing the difference in our family,” says Nadège, Gauthier’s wife. “If World Vision had not come to Kwango with sponsors’ support, I do not know what would have become of my family.”
Having observed how their parents have changed, the children expressed their dreams. Françoise says, “My dream is to become a doctor to look after and cure the sick”, while her little sister, Richesse, wants to “become a businesswoman”.
The members of this community understand the importance of saving groups. Currently, there are 23 savings groups operating in Kwango. “God bless World Vision and the sponsors who support our community. I wish that this support does not only stop at Kwango, but can also be extended to help other communities experiencing problems similar to what we had,” concludes Gauthier.