THE Saving for Transformation (S4T) model that World Vision Solomon Islands (WVSI) introduced to 11 communities in Makira Ulawa Province has stood in aid during this pandemic, as communities share out recently to assist them with their needs.
The S4T model is a saving model that encourages community members to establish saving clubs where they can save money.
While saving, the members can also access small loans from their savings, which can repay with little interest.
They also have different passbooks for different areas like Saving Producer Groups Funds, including Sustainability Fund, Operation Funds, Profit Funds, and Sector Funds, including social, church funds, youth, and women funds.
The passbooks can help them access money when the need arises from these different areas. Annually the saving groups can do share out with their group members. Usually, 25 people are in each saving group. Most people referred to the model as home banking.
Through the Market Linkage Phase II (MLP II) Project funded by the Australian Government through the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), World Vision introduced the scheme to 11 communities in Makira Ulawa Province.
The communities form their producer groups to oversee their production of the selected commercial products.
The majority is in Central Makira Constituency that already are existing cocoa farmers.
The project encouraged them to use solar driers for their cocoa beans and established a relationship with the Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands (KPSI) as a market outlet.
A coconut crushing mill was set up at Tawarodo in Ugi Island, while a fish facility was at Gupuna in Santa Ana.
The production of their selected commercial products enables them to continue saving.
The total members of savings is 250 of which 101 are men and 149 female members.
Interestingly, at the end of January 2022, they have recorded $450,580.00 (SBD) as their value of saving.
The loan fund is $497,570.20 with an outstanding loan of $176,615.00.
Meanwhile, the Social Fund passbook recorded an amount of $24,155.55.
With the challenges faced due to COVID-19 pandemic, the social fund seems relevant and, in some way possible, could ease the financial pain that saving club members are currently facing.
Most saving groups then do share out of their social funds.
Mwanihuki community has also done their share out towards the end of January this year.
Interestingly, Mwanihuki’s saving group has encouraged young people also to join the saving group.
Like other youths, Xyneella Eke also joined the saving group.
During their recent share-out, Eke received the highest share of $4500.
Eke is now 15 and currently a student at Manama Primary School.
“Home banking makes life easier for my family and me here at home, and so even I am young, I decided to save since I knew something good will come out from this saving,” she said.
Eke further said that her funding for saving is cocoa, copra, and marketing.