Village Savings and Loans Turn 25
25 Years and Counting
In 1991, CARE harnessed the ancient practice of group savings when it launched the world's first Village Savings and Loan Association in Niger.
25 years of helping women be their own bankers
In 1991, CARE launched a transformative program in Niger that would change the world. It harnessed the ancient practice of group savings in an innovative concept called Village Savings & Loan Associations. VSLAs offered women, in particular, a safe way to save money and access loans.
No outside capital was needed. Only a lockbox, three keys and some basic financial training. A quarter-century later, CARE VSLA members are doing the rest. Numbering more than 5 million strong across Africa and other parts of the globe, they are turning financial independence into better lives — for themselves, their families and their communities.
Dreaming with Eyes Wide Open
One family. Three generations. And a village called Kagadama.
Outside the Box
For 25 years, CARE Village Savings and Loan Associations have delivered lasting change through innovative economics. It all started with a few women and a lockbox in remote Niger.
The Faces of CARE VSLAs
Greet the richness of CARE VSLAs through the images of those who were there in the beginning — and whose legacy carries on.
A World of Change in Niger
Twenty-five years after the first CARE VSLAs launched in Niger, more than 5 million people have found financial independence in the innovative concept — saving, lending, changing the world as they know it.