Convened by:

Peer Exchanges

Date: May 21, 2018

Time: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Location: Kigali, Rwanda | Varies by Peer Exchange

Cost: 30 USD

The pre-Conference SG2018 Peer Exchanges will feature a series of field visits open to a variety of attendees – from newcomers to the Savings Groups sector to experts and practitioners of all levels of experience. Similar to the SG2018 technical tracks, each field visit will focus on a unique theme, for instance, highlighting women’s economic empowerment, vulnerable populations, linkages or providing a general overview. While targeted Peer Exchanges are perfect for experienced practitioners, the introductory visits are designed to provide Conference attendees interested in learning more about Savings Groups – including donors, academics, etc. – the opportunity to engage with local organizations and SG members in the field.

The SEEP Network is delighted to partner with CARE Rwanda, Catholic Relief Services, World Relief Rwanda, Africa Evangelistic Enterprises, and VisionFund Rwanda to offer these five interactive Peer Exchanges to foster peer-to-peer collaboration and learning. Stay tuned for more information on Peer Exchange themes and agenda details!


CARE Rwanda’s community based efforts to improve basic education, increase access to quality health care and expand economic opportunity for all started in 1984, and today CARE is active in every province of Rwanda. CARE is a global leader within a worldwide movement dedicated to ending poverty. We are known everywhere for our unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people. CARE works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. We seek a world of hope, tolerance and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and all people live with dignity and security. We put women and girls in the center because we know that we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities. We believe in urgent action, innovation, and the necessity of transformation—within the world and our own organization. We are accountable to the people and partners we humbly serve, transparently sharing our results, stories and lessons. We know that by embracing differences, actively including a variety of voices, and joining together we can solve the world’s most complex problems. We challenge ourselves to the highest level of learning and performance, tapping the best of the human spirit to create impact. We believe in the equal value of every human being and the importance of respecting and honoring each individual; we know that change happens through people.


CRS was founded in 1943 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to assist the poor and disadvantaged overseas. CRS’ mission statement calls the agency to alleviate human suffering and advance full human development. CRS supports international relief and development work in nearly 100 countries worldwide, including Rwanda.

Since 1988, CRS’ microfinance work has focused on serving the poorest, primarily women and vulnerable populations living in remote rural communities for whom the cost of accessing financial services is very high. CRS has built the capacity of local partners to own and manage credit-led microfinance institutions and to implement community-based savings-led projects. Professional and highly trained staff have developed a dynamic community of practice to ensure that learning is shared among staff, partners and communities. CRS’ supports 131, 298 saving groups (3,243,076 members) in 52 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.

Since 2010, CRS has pioneered the Private Service Provider (PSP) delivery channel, which prepares agents to become independent service providers operating on a market-led basis, to ensure the long-term (post-project) availability of services. After certification, PSPs continue to form groups on a fee-for-service basis, form peer networks, and recruit apprentices, to deepen delivery capacity and outreach.

SG2018 Peer Exchange: Introduction to Savings Groups

CRS’ Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILCs) are a type of community-based savings groups to strengthen the livelihoods of the people it serves. SILC groups benefit from the accumulated savings amount to invest in IGAs.

Because of the model’s success, demand for SILC far outstrips CRS capacity to respond, CRS has pioneered the Private Service Provider (PSP) delivery channel, which prepares SILC agents to become independent service providers operating on a market-led basis, to ensure the long-term (post-project) availability of services. After certification, PSPs continue to form groups on a fee-for-service basis, form peer networks, and recruit apprentices, to deepen delivery capacity and outreach.

Join CRS in an engaging Peer Exchange providing a general introduction to Savings Groups and further exploring the highlights of the SILC methodology.


World Relief works through the largest social network, the local church, to implement its Savings for Life program. Utilizing a curriculum that brings together the faith based principles World Relief stands upon with the proven success of the VSLA methodology, members lives are changed spiritually, socially, economically, and physically. This integration of savings group practices with World Relief’s values and commitment to integral mission makes a great holistic impact in beneficiaries’ lives. In addition, World Relief establishes Savings for Life Committees to work in local communities to create ownership of the program among local churches in the community as well as to ensure that the Savings for Life program can continue even after World Relief’s financial support has left the area.

SG2018 Peer Exchange: A Faith-based Approach

Participants on this field visit will experience these unique aspects of World Relief’s approach to implementation through visiting a group’s savings meeting, interacting with members to hear about their experiences and testimonies, and engaging with Savings for Life Committee members and field staff. The Savings for Life program, like other World Relief initiatives, is one of spiritual transformation and will offer Peer Exchange participants an intimate look at a faith-based savings approach aimed to fulfil the organization's mission of "empower[ing] the local church to serve the most vulnerable."


African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE) Rwanda is a Rwandan Faith-based Organization that was founded in 1984. Today, AEE is operational in over 19 districts in Rwanda. AEE handles social and development projects and programs that cater for the needs of the vulnerable. These programs include ensuring that marginalized children and youth have access to quality and inclusive education, empowering women, youth and the wider society to know and claim their rights and be able to earn a modest income, providing economic security, good nutrition, and sanitation for the disadvantaged and vulnerable. Meeting the basic livelihood rights is the foundation that our other programs build on.

AEE Rwanda implements its programs as a facilitator by jointly identifying the needs and concerns facing the community with its partners, designing and developing appropriate intervention strategies, soliciting and disbursing support to local partners. Progressive monitoring of activities, outputs and outcome along with accountability is done for all funds received and ensures that programs comply with all national requirements and standards.

Working with people’s institutions and Community Based Organizations, we aim to develop community institutions and build governance capacity that will provide the structural framework for the economic transformations to be locally sustainable. Thus, achieving our overall intent which is not only to strengthen civil society but also enable individual members to assume responsibility and independence for their own lives.

SG2018 Peer Exchange: Empowering Vulnerable Populations

AEE Rwanda is a Christian not for profit organization. In 2002, AEE Rwanda, to extend outreach and sustainability of her interventions, introduced a broad-based community empowerment approach known as Self Help Group (SHG). A concept which is based on two basic principles:

(1) Every human being has tremendous God given potential. This hidden potential in the poor can be unleashed if conducive environment is provided.

(2) As an individual, the poor are voiceless, powerless and vulnerable. By bringing them together as a homogenous collective, aware of their rights, they gain tremendous strengths and can claim their rights.

AEE invites conference participants to join in a Peer Exchange visiting one such group, with a specific focus on the empowerment of vulnerable populations through the SHG methodology.


VisionFund Rwanda is a subsidiary of VisionFund International and one of the largest deposit taking MFIs in Rwanda whose mission is to provide financial and non-financial services to underprivileged rural communities. We began in 1997 as a World Vision microfinance program, and in 2004 became a Central Bank regulated MFI in Rwanda.

We primarily serve vulnerable women with children and youth in rural areas and provide them with economic empowerment opportunities. Our products and strategy are focused on strengthening and providing financial services to Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) and groups and supporting them until graduation, while loan sizes range from $10 to $2000, depending on the poverty level of clients and region. Our savings products include child savings accounts to help the rural population save for their children regularly, and we are currently developing products targeting youth. We operate in all regions of Rwanda through our 11 branch outlets, and are also in the process of developing solutions to serve rural communities.

As a World Vision organization, our mission is to serve the underprivileged in deep rural areas. Ninety percent of our field officers' work is spent in rural areas meeting potential clients and groups.


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