VSLA Provide Skills For Us To Become Self-Sufficient, Says Bauchi Rural Women

By Ahmed Ahmed

Not Less than 50 survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and rural women benefited from Village Savings Loan Association (VSLA) scheme in Dambam and Gamawa Local government areas of Bauchi state.

Our correspondent reported that the women were trained by Attah Sisters Helping Hands foundation (ASHHF) and supported Actionaid Nigeria and Global Affairs Canada.

The beneficiaries while Speaking to our correspondent on Tuesday in Bauchi Mrs. Adama Shuaibu from Dambam LGA said having some financial independence as VLSA members allowed many women to rely less on their husbands. 

Some took on shared decision making with their husbands, while others made decisions on their own about how to save and spend their income. 

“When women did make decisions independently, most of them paid for their children’s school fees or healthcare before investing in their business,” She said.  

Another Beneficiary Malama Halima Abdullahi stressed that having access to cash and credit allowed women to improve their businesses.

“After joining VSLAs, some women began farming on larger plots, using their combined savings to expand production. 

“Many women who used to plant just one staple crop also began producing soybean, okra, and other diversified crops as their plots grew,” she said.

On her part, Madam Hannatu Rabiu said relationships within households and among members improved through the VSLA.

“We have enough income to pay for needs such as school, healthcare, and nutritious meals alleviated a great deal of stress at home,” she said.

Also Speaking, Mrs Rakiya Goje beneficiary from Gamawa explained that business relationships have Improved with the VSLA scheme.

“With more access to cash, women relied less on credit. And when they did, they could be trusted to repay loans on time. 

“Because of their access to cash and reliability, local businesses and financial institutions felt motivated to take on more women as customers,” she said.

The Beneficiaries expressed their appreciation to ASHHF foundation for providing skills to the women for having new opportunities to excel in their businesses.

In his remark, the Programme Manager ASHHF Mr Kingsley Yallngs said the VSLA explored how women performed as members of village savings and loan associations (VSLAs).

“VSLA is a group of 20 to 35 smallholder women who are often unable to access traditional banking and instead meet regularly to contribute small amounts of their earnings to a pooled savings fund, often stored in a lockbox. 

“VSLAs use their combined savings to provide loans to individual members, who pay them back over time with a small amount of interest,” Yallings said

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