How 'savings circles' empower women in rural Africa

In a rural community in the small African country of Burundi, 16 women squeeze on to narrow wooden benches, arranged in a rugged circle under the shadow of banana trees. One woman’s toddler squirms in her lap. Another has tied her sleeping baby to her back with a wrap.

Each week, they come together in a World Relief Savings for Life group to learn about basic money management and to save money for emergencies, basic needs or small business investments. They open with prayer and, one by one, they put their savings for the week in a metallic box. The largest saving that week is $2, the smallest 35 cents.


Katie Martin