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Youth & Economic Empowerment

A Safety Net for this Fishing Family

A family business has been saved thanks to funds received from one of Plan's savings groups.

When Lydia’s family needed a safety net the most, it was there for her.

The 57-year-old and her family have endured disaster after disaster since Typhoon Haiyan struck in 2013. Lydia considers herself lucky, though, that she joined a Plan International USA and JP Morgan Chase-supported Community Savings Group (CSG).

“What would I have done without my savings group?” she said, beginning to tear up.

Back in August, her husband, a fisherman, had gone to sea to fish one day. But, instead of catching fish, his boat capsized. Her husband found himself alone in the middle of the ocean clinging to the damaged vessel without food or water.

Thankfully, he managed to hang on for four days until he was rescued by a passing ship. After the accident, Lydia’s family lost its sole means of livelihood and her husband needed to regain his strength. Fortunately, Lydia had the support of her savings group, which gave her a grant from the social fund (an emergency insurance fund) for her husband’s medical expenses and a loan to buy fish nets and repair the boat.

The group of mothers that comprise Lydia’s CSG accumulated the money from disciplined, weekly savings, and the interest accrued on loans made to group members from that savings over nine months. The money they had accumulated was the most they had ever seen.

For Lydia, discipline paid off. Her husband has healed, the boat is repaired, and the family business is back afloat.

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