The Savings program is at the heart of all of Tabitha's work and is best described as community development focused on families. Participation in the program is a prerequisite for families or villages to participate in any of the other Tabitha programs.
The Savings program is the cornerstone of Tabitha’s work. It encourages families to save their money in order to break the cycle of poverty.
The rationale is that savings is a non-threatening way to make choices, a very necessary component for a people who have a very low self esteem; who need to have security and little threat and who must make their own choices without fear from us or others.
All families in Cambodia, no matter how poor have some cash available. They may earn this money by cutting grass to sell to a farmer or collecting discarded plastic bottles and cans. This cash flow is necessary to survive; there is no social security program. Saving a little of this cash flow each week is at the heart of this program.
This program helps families achieve 4-6 dream items per year. In the early years, families will pay off their debts and are encouraged to purchase livestock that will give them an income. After 10 weeks of savings, the family must purchase their dream within 3 days and repeat the cycle.
With each success, families move on to dreams which cover the basic necessities such as a cooking pot or sleeping mat and larger dreams such as a bicycle, a child’s education, or a new home.
Tabitha’s relationship with a family will last for 5-7 years. This is long enough to allow families to break the cycle of poverty and graduate to complete financial independence. Families move from poverty to a middle class rural Cambodian lifestyle.
Families who participate in the Savings program also qualify for: