Under the shadow of a tree in a rural village in Kampong Thom, a group of women are gathering to deposit into their savings fund with smiles of hope for the future. They are members of a saving group formed by the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC), funded by USAID’s Cambodia Countering Trafficking-in-Persons (CTIP) program implemented by Winrock International.
This community-lead saving group is among 100 formed and supported by CEDAC in two provinces in 2016, which will impact an estimated 2,000 vulnerable families.
“These savings groups give community members a safe way to build funds and foster financial stability in a country where only 4-10% of the adult population have formal financial services.”
These saving groups aim to support members to form savings, borrow money safely and start and develop small businesses in order to address the economic instability that often contributes to unsafe migration and vulnerability to trafficking. CEDAC will build the capacity of these saving groups in areas including financial-management skills, business-plan development and computer-based accounting systems using tablet technology.
The saving groups are a part of the livelihood component of the CTIP program, which provides a wide range of strategies to boost income generation within populations vulnerable to trafficking, including animal banks, organic farming cooperatives and chick raising. USAID’s CTIP program aims to provide 32,00 individuals vulnerable to trafficking with alternative livelihood assistance over the four-year duration of the program.