StarKids donations are helping to give low-income households in Indonesia access to beneficial savings and credit programs.

In the small village of Balane in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province, Ratni takes her seat and waits for the other people to arrive. She is meeting with a group of villagers who are participating in a savings and borrowing program. With help from StarKids, Wahana Visi Indonesia (World Vision Indonesia) runs the Accumulating Saving and Credit Association (ASCA), a program that provides communities and low-income households with the chance to accumulate savings together, share experiences and take small, flexible loans from the group’s funds.

Ratni is the leader of an ASCA group in her village and has worked with Wahana Visi for eight years. Initially, she struggled to find villagers willing to participate in the program but Balane now has three active groups. Ratni explains that, at each meeting, members contribute a set amount of money as savings and are able to receive up to three times the amount as a small, low-interest rate loan.

“A few months ago, I borrowed Rp800,000 [Indonesian Rupiah]. In ASCA, we can borrow and pay it back with interest. Interest is only paid once. Then we only pay the rest of the main loan,” she says. “This meant I had enough money to pay school fees and buy school uniforms for my children.” Many other families from Ratni’s village have joined the ASCA program and have been able to enjoy the benefits of financial support that helps overcome poverty.

Through facilitating access to savings groups, World Vision, in partnership with StarKids, is helping to create lasting change for low-income families. In 2017, more than 500,00 people participated in 32,081 savings groups, which provided them with the financial assistance to meet basic needs such as their children’s nutrition, healthcare and education.