Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA)
The Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) is a community savings model was developed by CARE and has been implemented in 61 countries, with over 6 million active participants worldwide. This model is a form of community-led savings which is self-managed and self-capitalised with simple procedures. Members agree to save a set amount each week over a period of time, usually nine months. The funds form a pool of money from which members can take out small loans at an agreed rate of interest, before the final total is eventually divided between members in proportion to how much each contributed. Some groups also set aside a portion of the money as a social fund for members.
The VSLA model gives members a simple, safe and transparent way to manage their finances, offering the services of savings, basic insurance through the social fund, loans, and a social network. This complements other CARE activities in the area; access to loans improves the options available to those who have received livelihoods training, while the regular meetings provide an opportunity for Village Health Support Group members to conduct health awareness raising sessions.
VSLAs are one of the key components of Partnering to Save Lives (PSL), contributing to the removal of financial barriers as a means to ensure that communities have access to and can utilise health services. These have been identified by CARE as a complementary mechanism to Ministry of Health approved social health schemes and a VSLA pilot project is being implemented in Sre Ambel district, Koh Kong province to test the VSLA methodology in the Cambodian context. By Mar 2015, there were 16% of VSLA fund (include Social Fund and Loan outstanding) had been used for health care expenses had been used for healthcare expenses such as giving birth at a health centre, helping members to spread the cost of accessing key healthcare services.
Removal of financial barriers for community people to access and utilise health services.
Project activities include:
Sensitisation meetings with authorities and communities
Form VSLA groups
Group trainings (modules 1 – 7 of the VSLA training schedule)
Group monitoring and supervision visits
Group share-outs and audits
Select and train Village Agents (VAs), who will carry on forming new groups after the project ends
Group quality assessments
Health education to saving members
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September 2012-July 2016
Koh Kong, Ratanak Kiri, and Mondul Kiri Provinces.
Direct beneficiaries—Over 275 VSLA groups including:
Over 180 groups in Koh Kong
Over 60 groups in Ratanak Kiri
Over 35 groups in Mondul Kiri
Indirect beneficiaries—Family members and community members.
Ministry of Health
Marie Stopes International Cambodia
Save the Children