The Washington Post writes about a recent approach that CRS and other organizations use to help low-income people improve their situation: saving money through community savings groups. The article features a video about CRS’ community savings program in El Salvador. The Washington Post writes:
The global financial crisis has turned us into a world of savers — including the poorest people on the planet.
Elsa Ligua is one of them. As a food stall vendor in the Philippines, paying for her four children to go to college once seemed unimaginable. But Ligua scrapes together 50 cents every day to give to a savings collector who visits her home. The money is deposited in a bank account that pays interest and is insulated from the daily demands of life below the international poverty line. She hopes to have $200 squirreled away by this summer — enough to pay at least some tuition.
The moral of Ligua’s story, told to a nonprofit group working with her bank, seems simple enough: Saving money, even if it’s only pennies at a time, is a guaranteed way to build wealth. But that idea is upending decades of popular wisdom about poverty and the best way to eradicate it.
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