The Power of Savings
Savings and Internal Lending youth groups have been essential tools to generate seed capital for HDAK youth development since the early days of the project. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, these groups have shown resilience throughout the challenging times and they kept on with their activities. Ejo Heza group operates in Kabatwa sector, Nyabihu district; it is composed of 23 members (8 F, 15M) and they practice potato farming business. Each group member saves 500 Rwf per week at RIM. Through HDAK, youth groups were introduced to a partnership with 2 local financial intuistions namely RIM and GOSHEN to encourage youth to step up and work with financial institutions hence familiarize with all the processes required for entrepreneurs to lend money from the banks.
“Since October last year, we have managed to get a loan of 2,500,000 rwf with a 5 month grace period allowing us to pay the first installment in February 2021. This came as a second loan, as we successfully completed to pay the first loan in September last year. These loans help us with our potato farming business as it requires us to buy quality seeds and fertilizers” says Delphin Hakizimana, leader of Ejo Heza group.
Although they have managed to work during the challenging times of covid-19, the group has also faced challenges as many other business owners. Some of the issues they face is lack of transportation of their produce to the markets and high fluctuation of prices.