Women’s Legal Resource Centre (Wolrec) has trained village savings and loans (VSLs) groups in Neno District to graduate into Community Savings and Investment Promotion (Comsip) groups.
The training comes after recommendations from government to phase out VSLs and focus on Comsip.
Speaking last week during the closing of a two-day training in the district, Neno Worlec project officer Patience Kaphalanya said they do not want women to share their savings, but invest them in small-scale businesses.
Kaphalanya said: “We received funding from Danish Church Aid to implement an Enhancing Women Empowerment and Active Citizenship Project in Neno District.
“Through the project, we established 30 women groups from which we formed VSLs we are now preparing them for Comsip.”
She said VSLs were about saving while Comsip will enable women attain economic independence through business.
“We believe financial empowerment will address poverty, which is a major cause of gender-based violence,” she said.
Chifunga Star Circle secretary Ivy Gilbert said they had reservations when they heard about Comsip and cooperatives.
“But after trainings, we were convinced that the interventions were viable and we would be able to generate capital to run businesses to support our families,” she said.
Neno district community development officer Rosaline Bvulumende said women have embraced community savings clubs compared with men who are shunning the groups.