Thyolo, Senior Assistant Community Development Officer for Thyolo, Maggie Meya, says Village Savings and Loan (VSL) Groups have empowered women in Thyolo economically enabling them to be self-reliant.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana), Meya said a lot of families were previously facing financial instability as most women did not have income generating activities but with the coming of VSLs, families have transformed for the better.
Nowadays, women are contributing something to their families after joining village savings banks. They are able to pay school fees for their school going children, a development which has eased pressure on their husbands, she said.
Moreover, Meya said the establishment of VSLs in Thyolo has managed to reduce hunger in the district since people are able to buy subsided fertilizer.
However, she pointed out that defaulting remains a major challenge for VSL groups as some people borrow money from the groups without having proper business skills which makes them fail to run their business and return the money they borrowed.
According to Meya, some people have lost their land while others have lost houses after they failed to repay their loans.
However, she said in the next five years, people in Thyolo especially those in VSLs will have better lives and will be economically stable.
Currently, Thyolo has more than 5, 000 VSL groups.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA