Saving for Change - Opportunity for You and Your Community

Monday, November 30, 2015
Saving for Change - Opportunity for You and Your Community

“This is what young people really want for themselves and their families – a chance to make their own opportunities” pronounced the youth gathering in Kampot to celebrate with popular singer, Meas SokSophea. “It is fantastic that in December 2015 nearly 139,000 people are collectively managing almost USD$6 million each year”. Since 2005 these people have been building Saving-for-Change (SfC) groups and making real decisions about their futures. Oxfam and partner organizations have been there to support but what is truly remarkable is that nearly 115,000 or these people are from the poor and poorest households - they can save for themselves if only given the chance.

“After almost 10 years with SfC, I have enough saving money to buy two hectares of farmland that can produce around 8 tonnes of rice each year. I also bought brand new motorbike for my children to ride to school and supported their study up to high school.” said Brach Saren, 36, a strong SfC member since 2006.  

Saving-for-Change enables the very poor to save for themselves by forming self-managed savings groups that succeed even in areas too remote to support small private business services. But Saving-for-Change provides more than financial services it also provides social benefits for members.

“But besides providing access to financial services, Saving-for-Change boosts social capital, self-confidence and group empowerment. It has the potential to increase the effectiveness of the work of NGOs seeking to help communities become more self-sufficient”, explained Sou Socheata, SfC Coordinator from Oxfam. “As almost 30 donors and local organizations in Cambodia will tell you, Saving-for-Change is a very cost-effective and sustainable platform for finance services and self-determination for the poorest but perhaps equally importantly it is a platform for so many development concerns; from youth self-esteem and reproductive health; from alternate livelihoods to entrepreneurship; from village social safety nets to gender-based violence.” Socheata went on to reflect, “it has been so amazing to learn just how many ways partners and communities have been able to use Saving-for-Change. At Oxfam we are always interested in helping everyone learn about Saving-for-Change because it’s hard to think of a community project anywhere in Cambodia that wouldn’t benefit from giving people the chance to try Saving-for-Change for themselves”.

Recognizing the success in SfC, Oxfam in collaboration with Youth Council of Cambodia will celebrate the 10-year Saving for Change anniversary on “Saving for Change - Opportunity for You and Your Community” on the 3rd of December, 2015 at the Kampot Sports Hall.

The event will bring together 1,000 participants from Ministry of Women’s Affairs, international and local non-governmental organization, farmers, youth, government and private institutions which are promoting, supporting and implementing community-based microfinance programs in Cambodia. SfC members including women, youth and NGOs will share their success stories and debate to bring their different perspectives and identifying common approaches in taking forward community-based microfinance program at increasing scale.

There will be a great variety of booths for SfC members, farmers, youth and CBOs to display their local agriculture products, videos and photos of SfC activities that have been implemented for the last 10 years in Cambodia. In the evening an electric concert will be performed with a special appearance by the popular singer, Meas SokSophea, plus superstars and local artists to celebrate the 10-year anniversary.

Notes to editors: 
Contact information: 

Ms. Sou Socheata- SfC Coordinator, Oxfam
SSou@OxfamAmerica.org
017 36 39 36

Mr. Im Sothy, Executive Director of Youth Council of Cambodia (YCC)
077 723 267