Financial literacy training increases savings and membership

Limited financial knowledge can lead to deficient financial practices, such as inadequate or no budgeting, a lack of savings and uninformed spending and investment decisions. In addition, several financial co-operatives have strong membership bases, but some members are not active, and as such, they do not receive the benefits from their co-operatives.  

Mollenter selling at her shop.

Well-designed financial literacy training can improve financial knowledge and behaviour, leading to improvements in financial and social well-being. It is against this backdrop that the VOICE for Women and Girls Program trained Savings and Credit Co-operative Organization (SACCO) members in financial literacy in Kenya.  

The training increased membership and savings in the the Rachuonyo East Entrepreneurs SACCO (REES). 

Mollenter is one trainee who experienced financial benefits while putting into practice what she learned. She has been a member of the SACCO for four years. However, she did not consistently save with the SACCO when she first joined. She would only save if she had some money to spare after her monthly expenses.  

“I used to save Ksh 500 ($5 CAD) in a month and I would go for three months without putting any amount into my savings,” she said. “After the training, I started budgeting before spending my income and my SACCO saving has always been part of it.”  

Consistently saving with her SACCO has enabled Mollenter to expand her second-hand clothes business.  

“I was able to borrow money to purchase a smart phone which I use to market my products, and this has helped me to expand my client base. I also managed to take a loan for my brother’s college fee, and I repay the loan from my business proceeds,” she said.  

Mollenter went further and introduced her sister, brother, and sister-in-law to the SACCO where they are looking forward to enjoying the benefits of SACCO membership.  

The VOICE program trained 30 co-operative members as trainers who further trained 800 co-operative members in Homabay. By the time of the training, the SACCO had a membership of 600. However, there has been a rapid increase in membership due to increased knowledge within families and surrounding communities about the benefits of SACCO membership.  

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