Rahman1 and Rafa, pictured above, have attended weekly SALT2 savings groups meetings for nearly four years. Over time, they started practicing the teaching they received and opened a small shoe store to better meet their family’s needs.
How do SALT savings groups work?
1. A savings group meets, each bringing their SALT teaching manuals and week’s savings.
2. After the teaching session, each member of the group hands in a small amount of savings. The group treasurer is responsible to hold the money, usually in a lockbox, until the next meeting.
3. One week later, the savings group meets again. After a time of prayer and Bible-based teaching, everyone again hands in a small amount of savings. Each member’s savings are carefully tracked. When they have collected enough funds, group members are ready to start withdrawing small loans.
4. Group members share business plans and explain why his or her need should be funded this month. While not everyone can take small loans in every term, the ability to save for future known expenses is important.
5. After discussion, the group decides who should receive loans and what the terms will be.
6. The groups typically form in annual terms. Before forming for the next term, they evaluate the blessings and challenges of the prior term and make appropriate changes.
7. The combination of Biblical and business teaching, saving for future known expenses, and group accountability provides what many impoverished people need to begin providing for themselves
Frequent meetings taught by a Christian facilitator largely contribute to the effectiveness of savings groups. The facilitators use the SALT manuals to give practical life “Book of Proverbs” teaching and “Sermon on the Mount” teaching. Many SALT members grew up without Biblical and occupational teaching. But little by little the teaching they receive takes root and these Biblical truths are integrated into their daily lives, homes, and communities.
1. Names are changed to protect identities.
2. SALT stands for Shared Accountability, Lending, and Teaching.