Wednesday, July 11, 2012

B'laan Boy Saves Up for Shoes

Alexander Kingkong is just three but he already knows what it's like to buy 'something big'  using money  saved. In his case, 'something big' is a pair of shoes he kept reminding his parents to save up for.

Alexander belongs to a B'laan family.  He and his young parents are members of a savings group or savings circle composed of  B'laan families who attend the CCT Community Church in Malungon, Sarangani on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

The savings circle program is one of several services run by the Center for Community Transformation  to provide marginalized people with pathways out of poverty.  Aside from giving people in the hinterlands  the means and motivation to save up for such basic needs as a pair of shoes,  for a life event such as a wedding,  or to have a safety net for hard times,  CCT hopes the circles will pool their savings to start a micro enterprise. As of this writing there are 19 savings circle in Malungon with a total of 457 members.

CCT's programs, including micro finance, preschool education, and feeding and nutrition, are aimed at meeting both physical and spiritual needs. Weekly meetings of all beneficiaries include prayer and study of the Bible.

In a year Alexander will be old enough to enroll in the preschool also run by CCT. Will his shoes still fit him then?  Probably.  But if not,  he'll know exactly what to do: keep reminding his parents to save up for another pair.

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