Jaksally Development Organization has extended its social development interventions into some five Metropolitan Municipal and Districts Assemblies in the Upper East, Northern and Savannah Region respectively. This is to partner the assemblies in these regions in order to contribute to alleviating poverty among its people especially women, youth, children and other vulnerable groups in the society using Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) concept.

The organization has been using the VSLA concept as a development tool to mobilize people, pull their resources together and loan it among them as a way of accessing funds to enable them to grow businesses.

Speaking to Simon Unyan a Reporter of Wesaygh.com about the need to implement the project in these districts the Coordinator of Jaksally Mr. Seidu Jeremiah said his organization has decided to extend its flagship program because of its intention to be able to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich in the society, access to funding and formal financial services, income and opportunity for all to be able to save.

The districts are Saboba in the Northern, North-East Gonja in the Savannah, Kasena Nankana West, Kasena Nankana Municipal and Builsa North all in the Upper East Regions.

The organization has been granted a business operating permit from the above assemblies to commence work.

The Village Savings and Loan (VSL) model creates self-managed and self-capitalized savings groups that use their savings to lend to each other. 

VSLAs are comprised of between 10 and 30 members and offer self-managed savings, insurance and credit services in urban slums and remote rural areas.

The model has spread to at least 75 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, with over 20 million active participants worldwide.  

Key facts about VSLAs:

  • Women comprise 78% of the membership
  • Repayment rates are the highest in the microfinance industry;
  • 89% of groups continue to operate more than five years after receiving training, on average doubling their capitalization and average loan sizes
  • At any one time, the average group has 63% of members with loans outstanding
  • At any one time, 74% of the available funds are in circulation as loans
  • The average annualized return on assets is 18%
  • The cost per member averages $22.2 (and as little as $8) per year.
  • 98% of members continue from one annual cycle to the next

VSLAs have altered the development equation in marginalized communities worldwide, providing members with the means to cope with emergencies, build capital and re-build social interdependence and trust.

The microfinance industry has come to accept the place of VSLAs as an important part of the financial landscape as among the most dynamic methodologies that bring entry-level financial services to the rural poor, in their own communities, and managed by themselves, retaining capital in the community that would otherwise be shipped off to urban areas or remain too dispersed to be useful.

He said the vision of the organization is a Ghana base on dignity where every human being has the same opportunity and therefore Jaksally is working towards that change.

“It is estimated that more than 20 million people in Ghana lack access to basic ‘goods and services’; from clean water, electricity to transformational education, freedom to participate in the economy” he indicated.

Mr. Jeremiah said the organization will invest in early STAGE groups whose products and services enable the poor to transform their lives.

 He said they will also support groups with tools; networks, technical assistant and strategic guidance that will help them succeed longtime solutions to poverty.

Mr. Jeremiah indicated that his VSLA concept has so far impacted the lives of many people especially women groups across the catchments areas.

“We are operating in “8 regions, 29 districts, over 300 communities, 147 interns, and half a million women, 115,000 men, 990, 000 children lives have been impacted since 2009 through VSLA concept; 12 million dollars equivalent in Ghana cedis is also being generated and invested since 2009, by 1,296 VSLAs, cooperative groups, value chains and many more,” he said.

The organization operates in the following projects and program areas such as agriculture, health, partnership, human development &governance, environment, financial inclusion and access to credit, tourism, education and many more.