By Kate Griffin, Director, Grameen Foundation's Solutions for the Poorest
There is a common misconception that poor people, especially the very poorest, can’t save – that they simply don’t have enough money to do so. Yet, every day, these people are proving us wrong. They are putting tiny amounts of additional income away – hiding it in their homes, giving it to a neighbor to safekeep, taking part in informal savings clubs that pay out in an established intervals, or buying livestock or jewelry.
[caption id="attachment_345" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="All women should have access to microfinance services, like these Fonkoze clients in Haiti."][/caption]
They know that in order to meet daily needs, or in order to withstand an illness, pay for school fees, and have enough money to buy fertilize for their crops, they will need these sums of money set aside. But these forms are often unreliable – theft can occur, or the neighbor can walk away with your money. When you need it most, the price of livestock may also be at its lowest. In order for these poor households to get the most out of their ability to save, they need safe, secure places to save that are conveniently located near their homes.