Livelihood Officer: Mr. Edward Chilenje
Transforming lives through SILC
Catholic Diocese of Ndola in partnership with Financial Sector Deepening Zambia- FSDZ as the funder and CRS Zambia to provided technical support been implementing SILC- Saving and internal Lending Communities a microfinance based methodology that promotes savings groups in all the 10 districts of the Copperbelt Province and currently has membership over 39,000.
SILC groups are a self-selected group of people, who pool their money into a fund, from which members can borrow. The money is paid back with interest, causing the fund to grow. These saving and borrowing activities take place during a cycle of pre-determined length (typically 8 to 12 months), at the end of which the funds are distributed to members, in proportion to their total savings. Members are free to use the distributed lump sum as they wish, including reinvestment for another cycle. Additionally, SILCs contribute to a secondary fund that caters for member emergencies.
SILCs are more attractive because SILCs offer interest on member savings, provide a micro-insurance service, and provide access to loans in useful and varying amounts, usually in excess of the borrower’s savings, at times that are convenient to the borrower and for varying lengths of time. The savings, insurance and loan facilities of SILCs allow members to meet their small, short-term financial needs for household cash-flow smoothing, income-generating activities, social obligations and emergencies without having to borrow from a money lender, take an expensive advance from a supplier, or rely on relatives. This increases members’ social security. In addition, the end-of-cycle lump-sum is available at the same pre-determined time for all members, oftentimes for major holiday or agricultural needs. SILC is guided by principles that will ensure the smooth running of the group’s activities.