Village Community Banking

Photo by Sarah Day

Here, women affected by HIV are joining together to secure better livelihoods for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Photo by Sala Lewis

At their weekly meetings, in addition to discussing their savings and investments, VICOBA groups discuss HIV prevention, care, treatment, and stigma reduction.

Photo by Sarah Day

New business owners show off their wares.

Pathfinder implemented a McKnight Foundation award to improve the socioeconomic condition of people living with HIV and AIDS. The project, which created savings and investment groups for HIV and AIDS support groups and women's groups in two districts in Tanzania, was based on the successful village community banking (VICOBA) model. During the life of the project, at least 120 VICOBA groups were established and supported. An interesting adaptation of the Pathfinder VICOBA project was that many of the savings and investment groups not only generated income for their own households, but also provided support to the most vulnerable members of the community through the creation of community endowment funds that addressed specific social needs. VICOBA groups also used their weekly meetings to provide public health education on HIV prevention, care, treatment, and stigma reduction.

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