Albeta Chilombo happened to be making a deposit when we visited the Kasungu Community SACCO (Savings and Credit Cooperative). One of the first members in 2005, Albeta makes a deposit once a week. She is a farmer & beekeeper and she sells honey and bakery. She made 40,000 Malawi Kwacha last year ($1 USD = 141 Kwacha, so about $284) growing and selling tobacco, her biggest source of income.
This is the youngest of the four ELDS-sponsored SACCOs, only taking deposits. Albeta is investing in shares (1 share = 500 K). Members can not withdraw from their shares, but next year they can start taking out loans with their shares as collateral. Albeta hopes to get a family loan next year to improve her house and increase her income-generation.