Saving for Change: Stories From The Field

Paper author: 
Oxfam
Paper publication date: 
Sunday, January 21, 2018

This booklet is a collection of stories from the field collected by Oxfam and partners in various Saving for Change project. Until now, the program had positively impacted the lives of poor and marginalized people to improve their family economics, e.g, they increased income through small-scale businesses. People changed their saving behavior, improved their financial practice, build their social asset and increase their participation and
leadership.

Since its introduction in Cambodia in 2005, SfC has been refined and market tested. It now reaches more than 140,000 rural poor communities members (85% of members are women) and helped to a mass of more than $5.5 million in community-based savings, through 18 local partners and one academic institution. Through SfC groups, rural farmers and community members control annually 8 million US, and manage 6 million US loans.
Poor, rural Cambodians, most of whom did not have access to bank or MFI services, now have a safe place to save, a share of accumulated interest on increasing group funds, and easier access to loans – which are typically used to income generating activities and to cope against shocks.

Saving groups provide a safe method for people, typically the rural poor, to provide financial services to themselves, and one that is generally much less expensive per person reached than other approaches to providing financial services. Generally, the people served would not otherwise have access to a safe way to save or a convenient, affordable place to borrow.

Saving for Change (SfC) is a savings-led microfinance model, pioneered by Oxfam America, Freedom from Hunger and the Stromme Foundation of Norway, and scaled up with the support of the Gates Foundation. It served those, especially the rural poor, who have been left behind by traditional financial service providers, replicates itself on a large scale and at low cost, and has demonstrated positive results--both financial and social—for savings groups members and their communities.