To expand the impact of REAP, BOMA introduced a micro-savings program in 2011.
Most residents of Laisamis District rely on vulnerable sources of income, such as livestock, for survival. With cash on hand to operate their business, as well as individual and group savings that are often kept in a local lockbox, REAP participants may be pressured to lend money to community members in a time of drought—or they may spend their savings on basic needs, potentially compromising their financial success.
Establishing a savings account makes it easier for REAP participants to manage their money in an effective, responsible manner. Our training program teaches participants why savings are important, how much to save, and how to research and use reliable local institutions, as well as newly available options like mobile banking. It also establishes savings groups comprised of three to eight REAP business groups. Each REAP business group contributes a pre-determined monthly amount to the group savings account; in turn, the account is used as a source of savings-led credit for the groups to expand.