June 2012

Siphumelele group meets in a shack in Gulfin informal settlement. The walls are painted cardboard!

It’s been awhile since I last posted, but our groups continue to astound. We now have 124 groups with 1,373 members. Savings total so far this year…R 1,716,300!! This beats what members saved all of last year, and we are only half way through 2012! On top of that, our members’ combined ‘profit’ is R 510 543, which is a 30% return on their savings. Just amazing….

In spite of the muddy conditions, the training officers’ dedication keeps them moving on. Huge respect must go to them!

We also notice that, because of the close relationship the training officers develop with savings group members, we are often in a position to go beyond the routine of savings coaching and business training to address difficult social issues. For example, we recently learned of the potential exploitation of one of our members who is a pensioner (senior citizen). She received a significant pension from her previous employe, which she deposited in a local bank. Now, however, it appears that all of the money has disappeared. She was treated horribly by the bank’s tellers and we brought this to the attention of the bank manager so she could get better service. We also arranged for her to speak to the police to investigate the alleged theft of her pension money. Finally, we linked her to a community organization that provides family counseling, so that she can get help dealing with her difficult family situation.

Well, that’s all for now. I leave you with some pictures taken of some of June’s meetings in Humansdorp (Gulfin settlement) and Loerie, a rural township area.

As always…..stay tuned!!

Shukushukuma group inLoerie

Shukushukuma group in Loerie

Shukushukuma's record keeper showing off her perfect savings book!

View of Gulfin informal shack settlement in Humansdorp


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