Tikwere is the first SACCO in Malawi to introduce a Youth Savings Group program encouraging the youth in the community to save. I had the amazing opportunity to visit the St Marys Primary Girls School to meet the girls in the savings club. They were expecting us and as soon as we pulled in the driveway they started shrieking. I’m not sure who was more excited, me or them.
It was extremely hot out so we set up under a big tree. As the guests of honour, we were seated at the front with all the children sitting on the ground facing us. The girls ranged in age from about six to fifteen years old. They welcomed us and read us a poem. It was in Che’chewa so I didn’t understand it as it was being read. I loved the translation that stated they want to save for their future because they don’t want a “sugar-daddy”.
The passion these young girls had about savings for their future and the SACCO in general was inspiring. Itai led the girls to different SACCO songs. It is impossible to explain the energy and enthusiasm that was felt but it warmed my heart. This level of passion is missing in the Canadian credit union system.
Their slogan says it all - “Small Savings, Big Future"