Economic inclusion is a precondition to be a full member of society. SavingBuddies will establish in Germany a model for self-organized saving groups that has already been successfully implemented in other European countries. The methodology makes it easier for newcomers and other financially disadvantaged people to manage their economic resources. It facilitates integration through empowerment, self-sufficiency and financial education and creates new social bonds, networks and exchange.
People on low income without access to bank loans often struggle with higher costs as they are often not able to react foresightedly and recognize economic opportunities. I.e. buying a bike to save on public transport costs. For newcomers it is even more difficult due to their legal status and because often they have lost their personal network acting as economic and advisory support in case of need and financial constraints. Plus, they are confronted with an economic system entirely new to them
We want to introduce, adapt and upscale the Spanish CAF (comunidades autofinanciadas) savings group model in Germany, starting with refugees setting up at least 10 groups in 2016.
Savings and loans groups have multi-dimensional impact on their members, including the following aspects:
• Improved saving capacity
• Improved financial education
• Development of a social network
• (Economic) integration into society – especially mixed groups (i.e. Germans & refugees) ease integration
• Adapting the CAF model to the German and to the refugee context acting as the official focal point for ACAF in Germany.
• Strengthen our network with organizations and establish contacts with refugees.
• Provide all relevant materials and information (online/print) translated into German and Arabic, necessary for setting up and managing a saving group.
• Offer support services to refugee organizations or other low-income groups in setting up saving groups and/or dissemination of the concept.
• Train multipliers from the refugee community to be able to replicate and scale the model and provide advisory services (e.g. workshops for financial education, economic empowerment, business development).
• Dedicate time and other personal resources in order to have set up a running association.
Target group are financially disadvantaged groups of the population who are interested in self-funded communities, as well as newcomers with approved asylum status (as experience has shown that a certain level of security is needed to be able to start thinking about saving and money management). Additionally, it is planned to integrate German residents that are interested in alternative saving models in mixed saving groups to foster integration and intercultural exchange.
Most welfare projects neglect the issue of money and financial education, due to its sensitivity. Drawing on the experiences of refugees which are part of our personal contacts, we know about the obstacles encountered in dealing with tax declaration or the positive surprise when learning about the concept of taxes as a legitimate contribution to society. We address our capacities to respond to the needs of newcomers by giving them tools for self-help rather than only providing external action.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
- Travel costs, board and accommodation 4.100€ - Public relations (including website, presentation videos, documentation, translation of materials 6.500€ - Personnel costs 34.000€ - Mentoring of multipliers 3.500€ - Implementation (including design and production of starter-kits, organization of events 3.500€) - Office expenses 2.000€