A community-rehabilitated bridge in the Koinadugu community of Sierra Leone has become a “bridge to the future.” The new bridge is an example of how, when people from local Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILCs) contribute money and labor to improve their village’s infrastructure, everyone benefits.
FRB’s Koinadugu program empowers farmers, particularly those in women-headed households, to increase their financial assets. Participants learn two key skills: group management and financial savings, through SILCs. In addition to providing a safe place to save and lend to group members, the SILC methodology builds cohesive groups that work together to solve individual, group and community problems.
In one program village of about 500 inhabitants, SILC members have not only saved to increase their household incomes but also contributed to social development in their community. There are four SILC groups in this community. Each was able to contribute $50 from its social funds to rehabilitate a bridge that connects them to other communities.
This sturdier bridge has enhanced the flow of vehicular traffic in and out of the community. Farmers can now take advantage of passing commercial vehicles to transport their agricultural produce and other commodities for sale in bigger towns and cities.
The Sierra Leone-Koinadugu Program encompasses 40 communities, 1200 households and 6000 individuals.
Interested in traveling to Sierra Leone? Join FRB on a trip to Sierra Leone, May 13-20th, 2013. Email Angela Boss for more details