This scarf is not made by hand. It’s made by ambition, on a machine, bought with savings, that was earned with profit. It’s made by going further.
More Than Money
Poverty is about more than money, it’s about exclusion.
Udita: “We don’t believe in an individualistic approach, we believe in a group collective action. An SHG is a self-help group of women, between 12 to 15 members. They will have a thrift and credit facility, they will have their own bank account.”
Sagarika Gayen: “I am the chairperson of my group. Our group meets every Wednesday. We burn incense sticks. To keep the meetings timely, members must arrive before the incense burns out or pay a fine. We talk about everyone’s situation, who wants a loan from the group, and who needs to repay a loan.”
Arpita Mandal: “We discuss our children, how we can help them, and how we should invest our money.
98% of Trickle Up savings groups engage in collective action to improve their entire communities.
Lakshmi Mandal: “When we began the group, the people from Prasari, Trickle Up’s partner, told me to make a plan, and my plan was to raise chickens.”
Sagarika: “We provided a loan to another woman to start her incense business. She’s doing very well. I used my loan to start a fishery, which has made some profit.”
60% of participants take low-interest loans from their savings groups to grow their businesses and improve their homes.
Sukesh Mandal, Program Staff, Prasari: “The importance of the group is not only financial security. Any kind of problem the women encounter can be solved within the group.”
Lakshmi: “With my loan, I bought some bamboo to build a house. But it was destroyed in a fire. Many groups came together to help me with money and a place to stay. So I was able to rehabilitate my life.”
Lakshmi’s SHG motivated 299 participants in 19 other groups to contribute money to help rebuild her home, a 100% participation rate.
Arpita: “When I speak in my group, people listen. I have a strong voice now.”
Sukesh: “We can work on a larger scale than now, and help many more women.”
Sagarika: “My dream is for our group to develop into a true business cooperative. Using the earnings from our businesses, we will all lead a better life.”
Poverty is isolation. It is hunger and instability. It’s a cycle that’s hard to break. That’s why we work harder. We work smarter on the plan and on the ground. We go further.
Mungli Lohar is a leader in her community. She has partnered with Trickle Up to teach women in her community how to use smartphones to lift them out of poverty.