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Washington Post Highlights CRS Community Savings Program

March 17, 2013 by

Ermilda Sanchez counts money at a meeting of a CRS community savings group called “Nueva Alianza” (New Alliance) in Honduras. Photo by Jim Stipe/CRS

Ermilda Sanchez counts money at a meeting of a CRS community savings group called “Nueva Alianza” (New Alliance) in Honduras. Photo by Jim Stipe/CRS

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.

Read the full article on the Washington Post.

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