Humanitarian Worker Initiation…The Language of Acronyms // So, What is an FSA?

Over the course of my last few blogs, you’ve probably heard me mention Financial Service Associations (FSAs) more than once.

FSAs are a significant piece of World Concern’s work. They embody and provide a clear example of our desire: to empower people to live a life of hope, opportunity, and dignity – with the goal that they will in turn empower those around them. To summarize: FSA’s ROCK.

If you haven’t heard of an FSA, you’ve most likely heard of a Village Bank. Let me break it down for you…

FSAs operate in un-banked rural communities who cannot afford the services provided by the mainstream financial institutions due to distance, infrastructure, economic capacity, and lack of knowledge. They run at the community level and are owned and managed by community members who buy shares.

FSAs are wholly owned by the shareholders who have voting rights and ultimate decision-making authority. [This is my favorite part.]

Meet Sogoo's FSA board.

Meet Sogoo’s FSA board members.

FSAs help alleviate poverty by providing individuals with a safe place to save their money (prior to joining an FSA, members often have no choice but to hide money in their thatch roofs – leaving them, and their savings, in an extremely vulnerable position).

FSAs offer cost effective and accessible financial services to the share owners (such as loans and a variety of micro-credit opportunities).

Inside the bank.

Inside the bank.

Rev. Jonathan, Chairman of FSA Sogoo, breaking down the organization.

Rev. Jonathan, Chairman of FSA Sogoo, breaking down the organization.

inside the bank

World Concern has over 9 FSAs in Kenya alone.

Rather than continuing to talk numbers (though very important, let’s be honest, they are not my forte), check out some of World Concern’s FSA beneficiaries in Sogoo, Kenya by viewing the video and photos below.

These are examples of the transforming impact of promoting community ownership and responsibility.

It’s an honor to introduce you to Alfred, his wife Lily, and their youngest son Gilbert. And their cows.

Alfred and Lily outside their home. They hope to take out another loan from FSA to build a permanent structure.

Alfred and Lily outside their tin-roof home. They plan to take out another loan from FSA to build a more permanent structure.

Gilbert, The youngest of the family. Nothing's stoppin this kid. Through FSA, he's been able to attend university. Once graduated, he plans to get a job and invest his money into FSA to ensure food security and a stable future for his family.

Gilbert, the last born in the family. Nothin’s stopping this kid. Because of FSA he’s been able to attend university in Nairobi. Once graduated, Gilbert plans to get a job and invest his money into his own FSA account. This way he will “ensure food security and a stable future” for his family.

Lily holding yogurt from one of the dairy cows she bought through an FSA loan. If you’ve never had Sogoo yogurt, you’re in for a sour & chunky surprise.

Alfred telling us about his cows (I may have stepped in multiple cow pies during this interview...).

Alfred telling us about his cows (I may have stepped in multiple cow pies during this interview…). He and Lily have also used an FSA loan to purchase a chicken coop.

Lily was so excited to share her milk and yogurt with the Sogoo FSA board members. I had the privilege of consuming one cup of each.

Lily was so excited to share her milk and yogurt with the Sogoo FSA board members. I had the privilege of consuming one cup of each.

Bottoms up!

Bottoms up!

Lily and Alfred's daughter-in-law, Helen, and her family. Helen is an active FSA board member. This lovely lady runs over three businesses and a family!

Lily and Alfred’s daughter-in-law, Helen, and her family. Helen is an active FSA board member. This lovely lady is a wife, mother of four, and runs over three businesses!

view from the home

Winnie, one of World Concern's project managers, leads an FSA meeting in the home.

Winnie, one of World Concern’s project managers, leads an FSA meeting in the family home.

This beautiful group of ladies is an FSA savings group. They pool their money together in order that each of them can start her own business. More to come later!

This beautiful group of ladies are members of a FSA savings group. They pool their money together and share with one another so that each woman has the opportunity to start her own business. More to come on them later!

Now a lil’ word from Alfred and Gilbert. And the cows…

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Humanitarian Worker Initiation…The Language of Acronyms // So, What is an FSA?

  1. Pingback: Curbing Hunger [PART II] // Ox-Plows (or ‘ploughs’ for those of us who prefer proper English) - Voice through a Window

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