Stephanos Foundation, a Christian organisation working in Thyolo, Blantyre and Chikwawa, has tipped beneficiaries of its voluntary savings and loans (VSL) programme to invest their savings in businesses rather than fixed assets.
The foundation’s programme manager Chimwemwe Hara said this on Wednesday afternoon during the VSL open day held at Champambana ground in Chikwawa.
Before the event, officials and invited guests visited homes of two beneficiaries where it was observed that they invested everything they got from last year’s VSL scheme into fixed assets such as houses and remained with nothing.
“It is good to invest, but you do not invest everything into a fixed asset. You need something to be generating income for household use. We are happy that the initiative is changing lives and many beneficiaries have quadrupled their resources. You do not invest and remain with nothing. This tendency is making some members to remain poor,” said Hara.
Each beneficiary started with a goat donated by Stephanos Foundation in 2009 and those that took proper care of the animals have succeeded.
Agness Jekabu, one of the beneficiaries, has 29 goats and three cows in addition to constructing a three bed-roomed house roofed with iron sheets.
In Ngabu alone, there are 28 VSL groups and last year they saved K10 167 000, which they shared among themselves. This December, they have saved about K11 million.
Speaking on behalf of Chikwawa community development officer, Gracious Alufazema told the members, the majority of whom are women, to ensure that the newly acquired wealth does not destroy their families. n