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Empowering parents to educate children with village savings initiative

Empowering parents to educate children with village savings initiative

Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA), is a strategy of the PLANE programme to improve the household economic status of parents and caregivers in the community. The Objective of VSLA is to bring people of the same interests and similar livelihoods together to enable them to save and access loans from their savings to invest in profitable income-generating activities.


Educate children with village savings initiative
Empowering parents to educate children with village savings initiative
Alhassan Idris, parent from Kitimi community

Alhassan Idris is 37 years old, and a native of Kitimi Community in Kauru Local government area of Kaduna State, in Northwest Nigeria. Alhassan has six children and as a subsistent farmer, he struggled to provide for his entire family and enroll his children in school.

“I only make sales of my little farm produce during harvest and that is how I get little monies to pay school fees and buy writing materials for my 3 older children. The younger children have been out of school because I cannot afford to cater for their needs in school due to increased economic hardship every day in Nigeria.”. 

Alhassan’s three youngest children who dropped out of school because of financial hardship, were enrolled into Catch up Club (CuC) classes organised by Save the Children International and its consortium partners through the “Partnership for Learning for All in Nigeria” (PLANE) project funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The CuC classes are a non-formal community learning education approach which is aimed at improving learning outcomes for out-of-school children from the age of 9-13 years (grades 4-6). Alhassan funded the school of his children through the VSLA group.

“I joined the VSLA group at a time when I lost hope of education for my three children, due to my financial status. At the VSLA I was introduced to savings and contributions. I contributed 5,000 naira (GBP3.5) to the VSLA box and in turn, I received a loan of 20,000 naira (GBP14). I gave my wife the entire money to expand her business of making groundnut cake (commonly known as kuli kuli in Hausa language). In the past, she only processed about 10 bowls (measures) of groundnut which she sells and makes around 10,000 naira (GBP7) monthly. The money was barely enough for feeding so other aspects of our lives like healthcare and education suffered. With the loan received from VSLA, she has expanded her business to process and sell about 40 bowls and makes around 40,000 naira (GBP28) as profit monthly. I have successfully paid back the VSLA loan from the profit from my wife’s business.

Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA), is a strategy of the PLANE project, to improve the household economic status of parents and caregivers in the community. The Objective of VSLA is to bring people of the same interests and similar livelihoods together to enable them to save and access loans from their savings to invest in profitable income-generating activities. In addition, VSLA brings about social cohesion among its members and enables them to have access to a safety net through the social fund which is being set aside within the group.

My children love tea and bread and they have asked me for it on several occasions but that was impossible until I met Save the Children. I provide them with bread and tea and other foods as breakfast before going to school, I can now adequately support my children in formal school with uniforms, books, and writing materials, and I am confident that I can enroll my 3 other children who are currently in Catch up Clubs into the community school after graduation from the club.

Today, I am happy that my children take tea about 3 times a week before going to school. Thank you FCDO and Save the Children for this great innovation.” Alhassan rounded up with a smile.

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