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Net-Works Community Banks: The Sag Young Savers’ Story

By Surshti Patel, ZSL |

This is the third and final blog in a series telling the stories of members of the local community banks that Net-Works has helped to set up, from one of my trips to the Philippines earlier this year.

It is the story of a group of young savers who are learning valuable lessons about financial management, while saving money to help fund their education.

The Sag Young Savers’ Story: sowing the seeds of good financial management

On the island of Sag, in the Danajon Bank, a group of 12-18 year olds have come together to form a youth savings group (known locally as a CoMSCA). Together, they are saving money to put towards their school expenses.

When asked why they wanted to start a CoMSCA, they replied:

“For the experience and to save money. This is not like a piggy bank that we can just access anytime and spend – we keep the money safely in the box for a year.”

The same golden rules apply to this youth savings group as to any CoMSCA – they choose to form the group, and self-select its members. All decisions are made collectively and the group is self-managed, with support from the local Village Agent – an individual trained by ZSL who facilitates the set up of CoMSCAs.

The next step will be to link the group up to a formal financial institution so that they can open up bank accounts. Then they will really be on their way to a bright future as the next generation of environmental stewards, doctors, teachers, police officers and hotel managers.

Being part of Net-Works, the CoMSCA has close ties to local conservation and the young people are unanimous in their enthusiasm to learn more about their natural environment and fisheries management. Watch out Sag Youth Savers, we are coming for you, the next generation of environmental champions!

Click here to read the other two blogs in this series:

Net-Works Community Banks: Nonilon’s Story       Net-Works Community Banks: Donna’s Story

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