The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) has applauded Care International Rwanda’s methodology of voluntary savings, saying that it would drastically promote the financial inclusion of the rural poor.
CARE through the SAFI project uses voluntary savings and loans methodology, where the most rural poor are grouped and encouraged to save and access financial credit to boost their incomes.
Speaking to Business Times after visiting the VSL groups in Bugesera, Central Bank Governor, Francois Kanimba, said that the VSL methodology was the best option for financial institutions to use if they are to reach to the rural poor.
“This project is extremely important and very good in terms of mobilising poor people with low incomes to a level where they can sustain themselves,” the Governor said, adding that, “What we ask CARE is to scale up these projects and reach all other parts of the country.”
Kanimba also noted that the methodology is intended to emphasise cohesion, where people in groups obtain loans and learn how to save.
He asked Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to adopt the model since their current models do not emphasise cohesion but bring people together for loans.
Judith Aguga Acon, the Senior Programme Manager SAFI at CARE Rwanda, said the project was working with the poor to improve their financial capacity until they can access financial services from financial institutions.
“We appreciate the fact that government is putting efforts in the area of financial access for the rural poor,” she said.
She added that the project targets those who earn less that one dollar a day but added that they are
future potential clients.
She observed that the project helps prepare the poor to learn how to save and enhance their capacity to access loans from MFIs.