Mothers' Union Child Survival & Savings with Education in Angola

Initially launched in 2009 as an extension to the Angola NetsforLife® program, the current goal of Mothers’ Union Child Survival program is to facilitate the transformation and empowerment of Angolan women to reinforce their contribution toward a reduction in the morbidity and mortality of their children, an increase in their economic independence in their families, and an overall improvement in the environment and public health of their communities. As Public Health depends upon all (the whole population) being educated and engaged, not simply the members of the Anglican Church parishes and congregations, in 2011 under the Mothers’ Union leadership the project took on a new structure. This change charged the Mothers’ Union with the task of educating its members, who in turn would voluntarily work to educate the community. Over the next two years (2011 – 2012) 26 Mothers’ Union members were trained as trainers (Community Agents). These Community Agents in turn mobilized and trained 1,010 Mothers’ Union members as volunteer Activists that in turn engaged women in their neighborhoods to create community-based Learning Groups. Over that two-year period it was reported that 4,129 women in 55 communities had formed 608 Learning Groups where they met weekly to not only discuss issues contributing to better child and public health, but also take action in their homes, with their group members, and for their communities. In 2012, to improve responsiveness of the program to women’s current context requests for economic strengthening, the Mothers’ Union began researching the integration of a savings group component. This initially involved a March 2012 peer learning exchange with Mothers’ Union Burundi, followed by a November 2012 Savings with Education (SwE) Facilitators’ Workshop led by Episcopal Relief & Development and our technical partner Freedom from Hunger. In 2013, this new SwE component was launched in Luanda by 7 newly trained Facilitators. The results of this pilot year were the creation of 12 Savings Groups (through the combination of 28 learning groups) inclusive of 233 active members who saved a combined total of US$29,683 and earned a combined total of US$3,889 in benefits (interest and fines) for an end-of-year payout of US$33,572. Since then, the program has continued to grow, expanding throughout Luanda as well as to Uige Province. As of December 2015, the program encompassed 23 Trained Facilitators working with a total of 75 active Savings Groups with 1,892 active members (9% men) who in 2015 saved a combined total of US$394,605 and earned a combined total of US$46,422 in benefits (interest plus fines) for an end-of-year payout of US$441,028. In total, over the last three years the Mothers’ Union SwE program has led members to generate a three-year combined cumulated total payout of US$682,038 (this represents $610,669 in savings and $71,369 in earnings). This 2016 plan proposes to support the Mothers’ Union in their growth of the new Savings with Education component through the initiation and/or reinforcement of 106 Savings with Education Groups (i.e. 56 in Luanda, 50 in Uige). This includes: 11 4th year (2013 groups continuing), 33 3rd year (2014 groups continuing), 29 2nd year (2015 groups continuing), and 33 NEW groups to start in 2016 (i.e. 19 new in Luanda and 14 new in Uige). These groups will be facilitated by a total of 23 Trained SwE Facilitators plus 3 Volunteer Replicators (in Luanda). The Trained SwE Facilitators include: 17 Active Stipend Agents (out of a total 22 previously trained), 6 NEW Stipend Agents (to be trained in 2016), 3 Supervisors (2 in Luanda and 1 in Uige), and 1 Coordinator.

Activities

2.1 PREPARE: Identify and prepare low cost learning-dialogue education materials that can be shared with each Savings with Education group, 2.2 INTEGRATE: Encourage all 62 second and third year Savings with Education Groups to establish learning-dialogue sessions during savings group meetings, 3.2 EXCHANGE: Coordinate peer exchange learning visits for the new Uige Savings with Education Officer and existing Savings with Education groups in Uige province., 3.6 FUND: Provide financial support for 6-months salary of the Uige Office Accountant/Bookkeeper, 3.1 MENTOR: Provide leadership and mentoring support to the Uige WASH Team., 3.4 SUPPORT: Conduct regular meetings and site visits to support and encourage learning about Savings with Education best practices among the Uige WASH Team., 3.3 TRAIN: Provide trainers and training support for the roll out of Savings with Education activities among the WASH project’s community-led total sanitation (CLTS) household working groups., 3.5 REVIEW: Train the Uige Savings with Education Officer in the use of the savings database, and review the quarterly data collection reports to ensure accuracy of information., 1.1 PROMOTE: Increase the capacities of the Mothers’ Union Savings with Education Program Team by promoting growth among team members; i.e., promoting 1 Agent to Supervisor in Luanda and adding 1 office assistant to do data reporting, 1.2 TRAIN: Provide refresher trainings for 20 Active Savings with Education Agents and Replicators in Luanda and Uige; i.e., 6 active Agents in Luanda, 3 Replicators in Luanda, & 11 active Agents in Uige, 1.4 REINFORCE: Strengthen the management capabilities of 62 existing Savings with Education Groups in Luanda and Uige; i.e., 33 third year groups (15 Luanda & 18 Uige) and 29 second year groups (11 Luanda & 18 Uige)., 1.5 FORM: Promote the formation of 33 NEW Savings with Education Groups among existing women's health learning groups and/or other community/faith-based groups in Luanda and Uige; i.e., 19 new in Luanda and 14 new in Uige, 1.3 EXPAND: Identify and train 6 NEW Savings with Education Agents in new locations in Luanda, 1.6 FACILITATE: Facilitate 95 Savings with Education Groups to create 7 Rules and begin weekly savings, lending and financial management activities; i.e., 33 third year groups, 29 second year groups, and 33 new groups, 1.7 SUPPORT: Supervisors conduct at least one site visit to each Agent and Savings with Education Group to learn from their maturing activities and to collect their savings data.

Cross-cutting issues

Institution Strengthening

Locations

  • Angola>Uige
  • Angola>Luanda

Sectors

  • Economic Recovery and Development
  • Health
  • Capacity Strengthening for CSOs (general)

Other projects