WSBI Sudan member Savings and Social Development Bank Sudan (SSD) project cracks financial, economic inclusion challenge in northeast-African country
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BRUSSELS, 15 May 2019 – A new project WSBI member SSD in Sudan provides a means to connect the public and private sectors to further spur rural development. Through the Al-Zahra project, , a collaboration between SSD and the Al-Gaith Charitable Organisation and Coral Company for Poultry, the bank aimed at providing eggs and work opportunities to both women and graduates in Shendi and Koboshia area in the River Nile State in the north of the country.
The project provides beneficiaries with training opportunities and expertise to enable them to start their own independent poultry business. The project is financed through a grant from Coral, which covers costs to bring in technical and administrative expertise. Three hundred women have benefited from the project through the financing valued at SDG32,992 (US$5,075).
A survey conducted uncovered suprising success factors for Al-Zahra. According to a project study from survey responses, Shendi University found that women aged 20-40 years were drawn to the project, with female beneficiaries earning 300-500 SDG per month (US$46 to 77). Ninety-six per cent of women in the project had been without an income before joining in.
People from low- and non-income segments sought to improve their livelihood. Results of the survey also showed a crack in highly conservative local cultural norms, as respondents acknowledged the need for women who worked in the project. SSD observed other factors too, as links formed between the project management and the local community.
Women taking part started to shift habits when it comes to personal finance. Female beneficiaries used to put aside a small amount of their income in Al-Khata boxes – or women’s savings boxes – to one-day purchase electric equipment and furniture for their houses. That all changed as female beneficiaries of the project indicated desire to be refinanced by SSD via Al-Gaith Charitable Organization guarantees. In addition, new social values took hold, as cooperation, the takaful (solidarity) spirit, and teamwork blossomed. Love also blossomed as marriages soared among female beneficiaries during their work in the project.
From a bank business standpoint, all bank instalments were paid back completely. Project ownership transferred successfully to the Al-Gaith Charitable Organisation. The Al-Zahra project showed that success happened thanks to project managers adopting a step-by-step approach. By doing so, women transform themselves into active contributors to the community, releasing a heavy burden on others people’s shoulders.