Men Can Also Save in VSLA
07 Nov 2019
VSLA (Village Saving Loan Accumulating) is a saving and loan program which is, on average, participated by housewives. This is different from the VSLA which is going on in Lambandia Village, East Kolaka District, Southeast Sulawesi Province. Tamrin (47) who is the Village Head stated that most of the men also take part in the saving and loan activities in this VSLA called “Harapan Jaya”.
Since it was first established in 2018, this VSLA has interested a lot of the villagers. Even though at the beginning, women became the priority, according to Tamrin, men also needed the activities. Previously, the women have already participated in the VSLA called Melati.
“This is for their own goodness’ sake. Through VSLA, men can also learn to set aside their income so that they do not always have to depend on the cocoa harvest time in order to buy fertilizers or to pay for their household needs,” Tamrin continued.
Tamrin suggested that the village government apparatus should first initiate VSLA activities.
“I started VSLA from the government apparatus first. Here our VSLA is participated by myself, village officials and also sub-village heads,” he stated, “If the Sub-Village Heads and all government apparatus started to participate, the community will follow.”
In the beginning, Harapan Jaya VSLA has got 20 men as members with the value of one share amounting to IDR 20,000. Each member can buy one share minimally and 5 shares maximally. Within nine months, at the end of the first cycle, Harapan Jaya VSLA obtained IDR 3,000,000 from the total shares. This did not include social funds and fines. For the social fund, each member should pay IDR 2,000. Meanwhile, for members who violate the mutual agreement, especially concerning the punctuality of their attendance, each person gets a fine of IDR 5,000.
“We have agreed that the social funds are collected to be brought during the visit to a member who is sick and to be donated to the mosque,” Tamrin recounted.
Similar to other VSLAs, in this group, members are not only able to save but they can borrow money as well. With the monthly interest of 1 percent, members can borrow maximally three times the number of shares they have.
“In the VSLA, we can borrow money anytime. We do not have to go to the bank first and go through a long process,” said Ambosau (28), one of the VSLA members, who happens to be the Sub-Village Head in Lambandia Village.
The meeting of the men VSLA which is carried out once a month becomes one of the facilities for Tamrin to conduct socialization and provide education, especially on savings, for villagers.
“In the past, we did not have meetings very often due to our busy work. Through the VSLA meetings, I can use the opportunity to share information on the activities in the village. Besides, we can also learn to save, prepare for our future and learn to help each other,” Tamrin stated.
It is not in vain, Tamrin and Ambosau’s struggle and efforts at the beginning have produced good results. At present, there are a lot of people who would like to join them in the Harapan Jaya VSLA.
“As a result, as VSLA members, we have really felt the benefits. We do not only have our savings but it is also added with the loan interest and the fines that we share together,” said Ambosau who once borrowed money to buy the needs of her cocoa plantation.
It is not only an imaginary hope, now Harapan Jaya VSLA will make every dream of its members come true.
Written by: Rena Tanjung, Communications Officer Wahana Visi Indonesia
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