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The empowerment of communities through access to training, micro-finance and the strengthening of community self-management capacities is central to the mission of the Zalala Foundation. This includes support for savings and credit groups, the establishment of autonomous Community Associations and the provision of community spaces to be used as desired by the local communities.

Savings and credit groups

In each community, the Foundation supports up to 10 rotating savings and credit groups, which enable individuals to access credit for a wide range of individual or group enterprises. Experienced Foundation staff provide advice, guidance and supervision for all groups and their inputs have resulted in both encouraging and strengthening the activities of these groups.

Individual savings have increased and access to credit has helped to improve the lives of individuals and families in numerous ways. These include: house improvements, acquisition of consumer durables, bicycles, motorbikes, furniture, cookers, school books, medicines, payment of school fees, improved roof, fishing nets and rods and much more. The community at large has also benefited from the group savings and credit groups. For example, bicycles and motorbikes are used for transporting people to the health centre and for taking local goods to market to be sold. Small businesses, such as local bakeries, have sprung up increasing the range of products on sale in the local village.