GLOBAL COMMUNITIES, an international non-governmental organisation, in partnership with Duterimbere IMF, a local Micro-finance institution, has launched a campaign aimed at encouraging residents, especially parents, to save part of their income to educate their children.
The campaign is part of the NGO’s financial services to the population which supports communities on the ground to form saving groups and get linked to Savings and Credits Cooperatives (SACCOS), Microfinance institutions (MFIs) or banks. The programme is part of the USAID-funded Integrated Improved Livelihoods Programme “Ejo Heza”, managed by Global Communities (formerly CHF International).
The programme was officially launched on Wednesday in Huye District with a call to residents to embrace it. Through the scheme, residents can create a savings account, named Iga Nawe, and deposit money free of charge but earns interests.
According to Walinga Kibe, the Rural Finance Advisor for Global Communities /USAID Ejoheza project, the Iga Nawe campaign comes as a result of a survey carried out in the past months which showed that parents need to plan for the education of their children well in advance.
“We’re very happy because it is a product where somebody can save some little money, every time, every day or every month and, in the end, be able to get some support to meet their education needs,” Kibe told Saturday Times.
“Education is a need that is with us and with many families everywhere. And it is not an emergency [because] you don’t wake up and say ‘Oh! I have to pay school fees’. The moment a child is born you know one day there’ll be school fees to be met.”
She added that Iga Nawe is an account that is very specific because it reminds adults and parents that you need to start saving for the education of your child.
Clemence Mukakalisa, second vice president of Duterimbere IMF board of directors, said, “We hope this product will help parents who had been facing difficulties to raise enough money to support their children’s education, especially when it is time for schools.”
Albertine Akimana, a mother of three, told Saturday Times she had not been thinking of saving for her children’s education.
“I have been saving a little money but I always thought I would use it to dress or feed my children when time comes. I have never thought of saving money for their education,” Akimana, a resident of Save sector in Gisagara District, said.
Many times, according to her, parents think of education and school fees when a student is admitted in secondary school. And then, because you are somehow caught by surprise you start wondering what to do some resolve to sell their properties, including land, which cannot unfortunately give you money to support your children until they complete their education.
“This campaign has awakened me and I will start depositing money as I plan for the education of my children,” Akimana added, vowing to deposit at least Rwf 500 each month in savings for each of her three children.