Village Banking in Twapia, Zambia
Hope Community School’s Village Banking program is continuing to educate and empower members of their community in Twapia, Zambia. In addition to providing fresh vegetables from the Hope Community School Farm for participants to sell, this impactful program teaches aspiring entrepreneurs how to attain financial security through business and budgeting training.
What is Village Banking?
The recently formed “Village Banking” initiative provides budgeting lessons and business skills to unemployed adults in the Hope community. Participants receive goods, for example: vegetables from Hope’s farm or supplies to make crafts, to sell at local markets. Revenue from the sales is used to pay back Hope for the goods they received, which in turn is used to compensate the record keepers, purchase more craft supplies, or is invested back into the farm. Participants in the initiative are encouraged to save a small percentage of their profit in the village bank and use the remaining funds to support their families. Small loans are also available to support their businesses.
Ms. Hellen Nangoi Banda
Ms. Hellen Banda has three children, two of whom attend Hope Community School. One is in kindergarten and the other is in second grade.
Ms. Banda is a member of the Village Banking program at Hope. She joined the program in 2020 with a goal to supplement her husband’s salary and contribute to the family bread basket. Before joining the program, Hellen was only able to sell tomatoes at the local market due to limited capital.
Thanks to the Village Banking program, Hellen can borrow money to increase her capital and expand her small business. In addition to selling tomatoes, she also sells kapentas (small fish), beans, groundnuts, and other fresh vegetables from the Hope Community School Farm. When vegetables from the farm are harvested, the Hope team contacts her, and she informs other Village Banking members in the community.
With some of her additional income, Hellen constructed a shelter in front of her home where she now sells her goods. Her sales have increased at her new location because there’s less competition than selling in the public market. She also enjoys the flexibility of being able to open and close her business on her own schedule and the benefits of being close to home.
Hellen’s future plans are to expand and introduce more merchandise in her small shop and later build a more permanent structure.
The impact of the Village Banking program is exciting. We look forward to strategically supporting its growth and for more of Hope’s community members to benefit from it.