Group Integrated Savings for Empowerment (GISE)
The AMPATH Family Preservation Initiative empowers patients economically through various agri-business interventions. The patients often need capital to start entrepreneurial projects as well as a way to save their money. GISE is one of the interventions that acts as a financing model in the agri-business interventions because most of the people who live in informal rural and urban areas find it very difficult to access financial services.
Project officers initiate the creation of savings groups, mainly
for AMPATH patients. Groups are made up of 15 - 30 self-selected
members who meet regularly and save money through the purchase of
shares which form a loan fund. At the formation stage of the group,
members are expected to draft a Group Constitution that stipulates
group regulations and mandates operational structures of the group.
The groups issue loans to members with a 10% interest rate, causing
the loan fund to grow. Members borrow based on their needs and
focused especially on advancing or starting income-generating
activities. If a member is unable to pay the loan within 1 month,
it can be rolled over for a maximum of 2 times. Members also
contribute to a social fund that is purposefully used in cases of
emergency or welfare/social issues of group
members. Future plans include leveraging the social fund to pay National Health Insurance Fund fees for the members.
With the help of the project officers, the group members undergo six major training sessions before savings and loaning starts. Members also pay fines in case of lateness or misconduct during group meetings.
At the end of one cycle (12 months), the group shares out - each member is refunded their shares, and interest earned from loans is divided among the group members. Throughout this process, members learn about savings, management, self-organization, elections practices, and decision-making.
A Snapshot of GISE at AMPATH
GISE was launched in November 2010 and a majority of the groups have undergone cycles and shared out twice. To date GISE has a total of 6,484 clients (81% female, 19% male), 338 groups, a cumulative savings of $101,945, a social fund of $11,829 and interest earned of $41,000. The outstanding loan amount is $103,675.
GISE as a Stepping Stone
Clients in GISE with a good loan repayment history and who are operating a business are being linked and endorsed by AMPATH to access interest-free loans from KIVA ZIP.
KIVA ZIP is a web-based non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the Internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, KIVA lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. A borrower on KIVA ZIP has the opportunity to access a community of lenders who can serve as brand ambassadors and potential customers for their business.