Saving Machine

I thought you might like to see this very short video from Burkina Faso. It’s the secretary in one of the savings groups of one of Plan’s partners, just stamping passbooks. 

I’m still amazed at how much people want to save, and do save, when given a chance to do so. This particular group decided to let members buy ten shares at a meeting since they meet every two weeks. Many of the members were saving the maximum, and the secretary was very skilled at stamping the passbooks accurately and quickly. 

When I saw this, something reminded me of a sewing machine - maybe it was the motion and sound of her stamping the passbooks. Just as the sewing machine was emblematic of the industrial revolution, the saving machine points to something really remarkable and revolutionary that is happening around the world. Imagine this same scene taking place in the quarter of a million savings groups in Africa alone. That’s a lot of saving! And just like the world was never the same after the industrial revolution, I suspect the savings revolution might have the same sort of irreversible impact.



Reader Comments (1)

I am so thrilled to see all savings practitioner institutions coming together globally beyond just the SEEP conference. The Savings revolution launched last year through the renown Arusha Savings Group Summit was very well represented. The momentum of sharing experiences continues thriving and will continue.

As this continues, I would like to propose that among the priority agenda items for these early days of inception include:
- a mechanism for peer review that may commence with a practitioner forum to develop minimum standards for the savings groups. This will bring greater clarity on what are the agreed integral characteristics of savings groups that guarantee achievement of high quality and impact. 
- Coordination aspects by practitioner institutions within each country that will result in strategic approach to advocacy issues regarding access to finance by the poor
- Savings group member protection and code of conduct as well as financial literacy that equips them to manage financial intermediation with formal finance institutions since these members are confronted with realities that require them to make choices whether to link with formal banks or not; organically even if there is no deliberate effort to link them to formal finance
- How to ensure representation and inclusion of voices in driving this movement from the grassroot (participants), technical experts on the ground in the various global locations and at all levels - national, regional and global, etc

Enough for now...

Sophie Chitedze, CARE USA (

Mon, July 30, 2012 | Sophie Chitedze

More Heretic

More Heretic

Is 2012 the New 1810?

Is 2012 the New 1810?