Mother-Daughter savings challenge
James Serembe, Muktar Muhumed & Ahmed Abdi Hussein
40 year old Abdia, is a mother of one and an Assistant Chief in Wargadud village, Wajir County. Other than being a local administrator Abdia took up an additional responsibility of mentoring girls through safe spaces under the Adolescents Girls Initiative (AGI-K) project funded by UKaid.
As a mentor, she participated in health and life skills as well as financial literacy training facilitated by Save the Children and Population Council.
Abdia says that while mentoring the girls, she felt challenged to lead by example and decided that to practice what she taught on budgeting and savings.
Abdia and her 13 year old daughter Farhiya, have both been saving since Dec 2013 and May 2016 respectively. So far Abdia has saved a total of KES 100,000 and her daughter has saved KES 3,500
In their own words:
Abdia says: “I never used to know how to save but now I have learnt how to save regularly. Safe spaces have taught us mentors to teach financial education but also improve our knowledge on health and life skills.”
“Adolescent girls’ needs are very many and most of those needs can’t be met by the parents all the time as some can be emergency, so saving helps them plan ahead,” she adds
Abdia says she wants to be a role model to her daughter Farhiya and all adolescent girls in her village. She encourages them to make savings on whatever little they receive. She says that 30 girls in her safe space have made savings in the home banks with one particular girl, besides her daughter having saved KES 3,100.
“I have saved over KES 100,000 which I will use to pay Farhiya’s school fees when she transitions to secondary school next year. I will also build a house on my plot within Wajir town,” says Abdia
Abdia’s daughter Farhiya is enrolled in the AGI-K project and attends safe spaces. She tells us that she was given a home bank from equity bank in 2015 but she did not know how to save money. After acquiring the skills from the safe space sessions and being provided with an additional home bank by Save the Children she began saving in the home banks. She says: “I had saved KES 7,500 and I used KES 3,500 to buy a goat which will also bring me income and I kept KES 3,500 in the home bank.”
“I love to save money because it helps me get what I want anytime, but I didn’t know how to do it until when I was taught in the safe spaces. I will continue doing this until I acquire a lot of money,” adds Farhiya
When I grow up, I want to be a doctor. I now know how to save money. The AGI has paid our school fees, provided our parents with money and even helped us get sanitary pads. This help will make us better people in the community.”
Save the Children through the DFID-funded AGI-K program is supporting 2,250 girls to access both primary and secondary education through conditional cash transfers as an incentive to the households, schools and girls to routinely attend school and transition to the next level of education. In addition, About 1,831 girls in 40 villages attend weekly classes held in a safe space where they are taught by a trained female community member i.e. mentor on various health and life skills topics as well as financial education. These interventions have ensured that the girls do not only stay longer in school but also transition to the next level of education. In addition, many of these girls just like Farhiya have improved knowledge on various health topics and basic financial management skills.
The Program is being implemented by a consortium led by Population council in partnership with African population Health and research center (APHRC), Plan International, Save the Children and Itad. Save the Children is the implementing agency in Wajir while Plan international is the implementing partner in Kibera slums within Nairobi County whereas Population Council, APHRC and Itad are the research partners.