In Bénin, the informal savings group movement has brought basic financial services to thousands of rural women. As the groups have matured and grown economically, our work with them has expanded to bring new financial and health services.

In partnership with a local microfinance institution, we are working with 120 mature savings groups - offering formal savings accounts that groups can manage via a mobile phone. To form and train new savings groups, we developed and are now employing a more sustainable grassroots approach that uses local community members as Community Agents.

To improve health, we offer savings groups family planning services, health education, health financing, and links to health providers. Today, over 17,000 savings group members have access to health through negotiated benefits with 43 public and private health providers. Health savings and health loans are also available to pay for services through savings group.

Photo credit: Karl Grobl/Freedom from Hunger