SAN DIEGO, CA DECEMBER 29, 2015
Belonging to a Women Empowered (WE) group provides an opportunity that many women have never had before. An opportunity to manage their own resources, to be leaders in the savings and loan process, to start their own business, and to make decisions about the social realities where they live.
In September 2015, 36 Women Empowered (WE) groups from Chanchiquia, Ixtahuacan, Guatemala, closed a cycle, distributed funds and analyzed their financial and social performance from the year of work together. This process helps promote transparency while building deeper bonds of trust that keeps the group united.
The end of a cycle and distribution of funds provides an opportunity for analysis and reflection where the group can exercise their leadership with greater strength. For this purpose, several important steps are followed in the presence of all members:
- Identify different options for reinvestment in the next cycle of the money that has been saved in the current cycle,
- Address their progress and weaknesses as a group, reviewing the internal regulations which are the central tool for their functioning, and
- Begin a new stage with renewed and strengthened enthusiasm in control of the processes that keep the group functioning.
Besides carrying out these actions, the Women Empowered (WE) groups named Nuevo Amanecer, which means “New Dawn”, chose to form a Transparency Committee composed of three women. Two women from the group volunteered for the committee and the third was nominated by the group in order to have a diverse and representative committee.
The committee led the process of receiving and counting the year’s savings, of calculating how much each participant would receive and, above all, verified that all the money that was available (savings, loans, social fund and earnings) was in the box as recorded in the official record. For this process, the group set a meeting date when all the members would be present. Before the organization leadership – bookwriters and representatives – opened the box and counted the money, the committee reviewed the records in front of the rest of the group. When the box was opened, they counted the money and divided it into three separate accounts: savings, interest and earnings.
Without a doubt, the committee supported and guided the process and the distribution of funds. This gave more group members the opportunity to exercise their leadership and also promoted transparency at the same time. Because of this, the women reinvested approximately 30 percent of their savings – 2,000 quetzales – at the beginning of the second cycle and used the rest of the savings for their children’s education and also productive activities such as buying pigs, chickens and seeds for the harvest.
Empowered women have the confidence, vision and resolve to transform their lives, and that of their families and communities.
To learn more about PCI’s empowering women programs please click here – pciglobal.org/empowering-women
Originally published on PRWeb.