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« Testing health microinsurance through savings groups in Benin | Main | Savings groups in Lesotho grow their ambitions »

In four Caribbean countries, youths join savings groups and learn to assist as first responders

Submitted by YEAC SILC Team Marchand
March 26, 2015

Young members of a savings group that contributes to disaster risk reduction in the CaribbeanIn the Caribbean, CRS' savings groups are helping young people prepare themselves and their communities for emergencies.

Over the last five years, CRS has supported local partners in the Caribbean region to implement the Youth Emergency Action Committee (YEAC) project. A YEAC is made up of youths who live in vulnerable neighborhoods. It prepares them to serve in their community as first responders during emergencies.

However, residents within these communities often cannot afford to stock up on the emergency supplies needed to weather either a short- or long-term crisis. Therefore, in August 2014 we began training young people in Caribbean cities to form Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC).

In Saint Lucia, Grenada, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, the SILC program has encouraged YEAC participants to build their financial savings skills so they can use those skills to generate income. The goal is to encourage young people to take more control over their personal finances, and to develop the discipline needed to transform their financial circumstances. As a result, participants and their families can start setting aside the resources they need in the event of emergencies.

The Saint Lucian participants have already started seeing the benefits of using SILC. They are setting aside small amounts of money at a time, and they are beginning to prioritize saving. They are also gaining confidence by assuming greater levels of responsibility as active SILC members.

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Read more stories from our microfinance newsletter . . .

Posted on March 26, 2015

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