Becoming Self-Reliant: A Mother's Guide to Sustainability in South Sudan

 Building strong communities in South Sudan

Dor is a mother of four children and a member of a Savings and Credit Association in South Sudan.

Dor's group was established in 2014 as an effort to increase access to financial services, reduce high levels of poverty and assist vulnerable people in South Sudan to become self-reliant.

 A mother harvests vegetables in South Sudan

Small groups of 10 to 20 members formed in Dor's community and were trained on business skills to start small businesses. They also learned about group dynamics and later were attached to an established community bank where they save their money securely and access larger loans.

Through her savings group, Dor saved about $30 by selling chicken eggs and local beverages. She has been able to borrow loans to boost her business and help her family. This includes paying school fees for two of her children.

"The savings box is something that I can lean on. If it were not here, I would not have savings. When there is no food, you can borrow money to buy food," she said, adding that members of the group have started a small market as a result of their savings. Her group meets and saves every Sunday after church services. "We have even become friendlier to each other and help each other in little ways."

Today, Dor has a farm where she grows different types of vegetables. She also owns 5 chickens and 12 goats and looks forward to borrowing another loan in order to construct a second pen for her animals.

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Photos from top: Dor outside her home in South Sudan. Dor attends to her farm.