Birthplace of our savings and loan scheme
Niger is the birthplace of CARE's pioneering village savings and loan approach, which has been adopted worldwide as a key strategy to empower vulnerable women.
The Mata Masu Dubara project (meaning ingenious women or women on the move) has had a huge impact on women's lives, economically empowering them and raising their social and political status. Through Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), women members save and pool money in groups, which they can draw on as a buffer for hard times and as loans to start up or develop small businesses. Groups also set up cooperative projects – such as granaries to store grain or collective vegetable gardens to enrich their children's nutrition. CARE also provides training for group members.