Financial exclusion has led to the development of indigenous community-based solutions. Traditional savings groups have been in existence for decades and are wide spread in villages in Africa, Asia and Latin America where formal financial services are largely absent. Such informal entities, technically referred to as Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs) are known by different names in different regions of the world such as tandas (Latin America), chamas (Swahili-speaking East Africa), ekub (Ethiopia), cundinas (Mexico), ayuuto (Somalia), stokvel (South Africa), hagbad (Somaliland), susu (West Africa and the Caribbean), tontines (parts of West Africa), Merry-go-rounds (Kenya), upatu (Tanzania), arisans (Indonesia) and by many other terminologies.
EIS supports and promotes CBSL in local communities as a sustainable and low cost approach to poverty reduction in line with SDG 1. To ensure these groups are accessible by all sections of the communities, concepts of disability and gender inclusion are core aspect of the practice and are embedded in the training package provided to groups.
From 2015 to 2018, a total of 14 effective groups have been created with over 350 members with a little above 60 % being women.