Women’s social and economic empowerment is a main theme of the WR Program.
Through its village savings and loan associations (VSLA) methodology, the program has been improving women’s economic and social security in Egypt.
VSLA is a sustainable and cost-efficient micro-finance model that the WR program implemented in Beni Suef, Minia, Assiut, and Sohag.
2616 VSLA groups were formed since 2009, benefiting 54,011 of the poorest and most marginalized individuals (95% women and 5% men).
Those groups saved 8,403,442 Egyptian Pounds (EGP) and took out 11,534 loans with a total value of 4,613,816 EGP.
VSLA is relevant to the challenges seen in Egypt. It allows the poorest and most marginalized individuals to save money in whatever amount they wish and provides them with the opportunity towards financial inclusion.
Women take out loans that range from small change to several hundred EGP without seed money.
Loans are averagely 400 EGP, which is too small for microfinance institutions or for any financial institution to consider.
They are used to cover basic needs (school fees, health matters, etc.) or for enterprise development and income generating activities that can secure and stabilize cash income.
This is on the basis that VSLA members are trained on money management, financial literacy, and basic business development skills, as well as social empowerment trainings that equip women with decision-making and self-efficacy.
During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the direct beneficiaries on women’s social and economic empowerment were 13,876 women and girls, and the indirect were 55,504 women and girls.