Creating a culture of savings in South African townships
Mpendulo Savings is a South African organization that has been forming savings groups since 2009. We have over 1,400 members organized into 126 groups who have managed to save over R 2.8 MILLION ($355,000) this year alone. Mpendulo means “the answer” in isiXhosa. Our motto is “Save ‘n Grow”, because for us and our members, this is the answer. In the words of Sanna Mahlangu, chairwoman of The Mighty Eagles, “If I didn’t belong to this savings group, our family would not have anything to eat, or money for anything! I am the only one bringing in any money now.”
The magic of savings groups in South Africa
Our members – mostly women – are from the townships, the poor neighborhoods, of South Africa. They are on their way to self-reliance because when they join a savings group, they:
- Learn how to save and manage household finances,
- Start and grow their businesses by taking loans from their group’s pooled savings
- Send their kids to school and keep them healthy
- Keep the interest they charge each other on loans within the group, instead of giving it to loan sharks who charge 50 to 100% interest per month
With the loans these tiny financial institutions provide each other through their pooled savings, they have realized a 43% return on their savings.
Amazing isn’t it?
This has all been achieved with 4 staff members, who, after 16 months of coaching, sends the group out on its own, able to manage their own affairs, and empowered to show others how to form their own groups.
You can make a difference – Sponsor a savings group in South Africa
We are very efficient, but we can’t work for nothing. Your contribution will help us spread savings groups to more people. You will help not just one person, but a whole group. Not just for a year, but for years to come. And not just with a loan, but with savings first, and loans when they need them. Here’s two ways you can help.
- Sponsor a group: For a contribution of $100, we will start up a new savings group, post a picture of the group on this site with your name, and let you know what the group has accomplished after one year.
- Help Mpendulo grow: Your one time or monthly contribution of any amount will help Mpendulo strengthen itself and grow. We’ll use it where we feel the greatest need.
Trust no: IT287/09
PBO no: 930031064