A Practical Approach to HIV/AIDS
A recent study conducted in South Africa investigates the benefits of Savings and Credit Group Membership among rural women affected by HIV / AIDS.
The innovative savings model implemented by SaveAct challenges traditional approaches to HIV/AIDS.
The model shatters the myth that people affected by HIV/AIDS cannot save or carry out productive activity.
SaveAct, a South African-based NGO that reaches 15,000 members, implements a hybrid model of community-based savings activities. The model is derived from CARE’s work in Niger and incorporates Savings and Credit Groups, Financial Education and Enterprise Training.
The study surveys 52 savings group members who are known to be affected by HIV/AIDS in an isolated area of the Eastern Cape.
Analysis of financial trends in times of crisis reveal strong indications of consumption smoothing amongst participants. Evidence points to a link between improved financial control and improvements in health and living standards:
- 38% cite ‘improved health’ as the most important benefit, with 90% reporting improved nutrition since joining and some participants directly noting that they had experienced a rise in CD4-cell count levels
- 95% of participants report improved status in the community
- 100% report increased levels of self-esteem
Read the full report here.