There is a need to empower women and young people so that they can be economically independent and be able to provide for themselves and their families. This empowerment can be done through several ways such as provision of seed funding to start their businesses, skill acquisition training in income generating activities(IGAs), capacity building, educational advancement programs, savings and loans schemes amongst many other initiatives.

The Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) Program was inaugurated in 6 local government areas in southwestern Nigeria amongst women traders to help them collectively mobilize capital for their businesses. As part of this program these women were provided with toolkits which included stamp pads, metal cash safe, padlocks, savings and social fund bags to help them keep records and form a ‘bank’. They were all expected to contribute into a general purse a specific amount daily or weekly as agreed and at the end of each month or fortnightly (again, as agreed by all of them) they would take turns in collecting the proceedings which they were expected to use for their businesses and personal expenses.

A total of 15 women in each LGA were selected to be members of the association with new groups expected to be created as they increased in numbers, each of them also provided guarantors as well as collaterals to be used in the event of their defaulting payment or absconding. The women expressed their gratitude at this gesture by our organization and commended us for coming to their aid, they added that this was preferable to bank loans or patronizing money lenders who sometimes made it difficult for loans gotten from them to be paid back.