In Burasia village in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, dreams are becoming reality by empowering women to form savings and loans groups that, in turn, create opportunities for them to improve their lives and those of their families. One group created as part of the perfectly named DREAM project that CWS coordinates is the 20-member Mawar group, which is chaired by Rice Datu Matasak, who is 26. Recently, Rice joined a workshop organized by CWS and our partner, Motivator Pusbinlat learn the basics of starting a savings/ending group with the initial capital invested by group members themselves – not CWS or our partner or an outside donor. After the workshop, Rice was eager to share her plans for the group:
“What I am most enthusiastic about for our group is the idea, and the fact, that the group is formed based on our collective awareness and, of course, the profit-sharing among members.” Rice also told CWS team members that she thinks her group will start up well and succeed because she has seen other women create successful groups, including one in neighboring Orong, where women who knew each other well decided to join together for shared benefit. Similarly, in the Mawar group all members are well acquainted and work well together, which made organizing for different roles and responsibilities, and for develop rules and regulations simple. According to Rice, it is important that members know each other and trust each to ensure members’ individual investment, agreements on loan amounts and then loan repayments.
On October 22, 2018, after long discussion, all members of the Mawar Women’s Savings and Loan Group agreed that each person’s initial capital investment would be Rupiah 50,000 ($3.50) followed by a monthly savings deposit of just Rupiah 5,000, or 35 cents. Their first monthly meeting will be held November 10th, and then on the 10th of each month going forward. Once the groups rules are agreed among members, they will share their Statutes and Bylaw with the head of their village for formal approval, which will give the official recognition as a community group, which will make it possible for them to seek local government support for their group in the future. In a final comment, Rice talked about her increased enthusiasm once the Mawar group formed, and her hope that the group will help everyone improve their incomes, and lives, by giving us the chance to borrow money based on trust, mutual interest and, best of all, reasonable interest terms and rates. Echoing her enthusiasm, CWS DREAM team members were also happy to see that another group of women were joining together to make their own dreams come true.
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