SCEF’s Village Saving and Loans Associations and Micro-Enterprise Cooperatives provide the basic knowledge and opportunities for the parents and guardians of rescued street/vulnerable children to get their own children off the streets and into school in a sustainable way. This includes being 100% responsible for their child’s education. In the program, we build an understanding of the rights of children to education. Our goal is to successfully exit rescued street children after 5 years of being on our support. Their empowered parents and guardians take on from there. Parents and guardians learn how to run their own businesses and get to participate in business opportunities. SCEF is empowering them to take up their natural roles of providing for their children’s education in the long term, by teaching them practices like:
- Time management
- Borrowing and repayment
We achieve the above objectives, through the following specific programs:
- SCEF’s Village Savings and Loans Associations (VS& LA):
Together with Gateway 4 Youth Foundation, SCEF introduced a well-researched village saving and loans model to the parents and guardians of our beneficiaries. Our first group started with 30 parents and guardians; the following year a second group was started. Then followed a third and now we have four groups. The leadership of the groups are elected by their members and the entire capital of their loans fund and social insurance fund is raised from the contributions of the membership. These contributions are collected during their weekly meetings and range from $1-$5 per person.
- Life Skills for Sustainable Development (LSSD) Project:
We realized at some point that most of the members of families we support earn below a $1 each day, and about 50% could not raise amounts to participate in the Village Saving and Loans program. We then instituted micro enterprises trainings and support for the parents and guardians of our program. Some parents participated in jewelry training and the production for sales. We have also grouped the parents into various micro enterprises and with funding from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we have begun the Yehowa Da Bakery Cooperative.
The Yehowa Da Bakery Cooperative is an independent group led by 6 executive members who were elected by the entire 16 membership of the cooperative to undergo both practical and business training to begin a bread bakery business. The selected team were taken through over 16 weeks of both business and practical training and have begun a profitable bread business and brand.