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The Life-Changing Power of Savings Groups: Yendeli's Story on Strengthening Her Community

The Life-Changing Power of Savings Groups: Yendeli’s Story on Strengthening Her Community

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WRITTEN BY Cat Forsgren

A community in the Dominican Republic has learned a tool with the power to make a positive impact in the lives of many. At the heart of this change is Yendeli, a young mother of four in El Cercadillo. With the help of donor-supported FH training modules through Strengthen Communities, Yendeli used the tools she learned to transform her family’s life and build resilience in her community.

A Daily Struggle

Yendeli did her best to support her family by selling underwear door-to-door. This job was physically and emotionally taxing. Her body was tired from carrying heavy bags of clothing, and she felt the weight of sadness from her family’s separation. With Yendeli’s husband working far away as a cook to provide income, her family was rarely together, and she didn’t have someone to lean on when times were difficult. And without being able to attend church because of her job, Yendeli’s family didn’t have a sense of community and spiritual development.

The Gift of Knowledge 

Thanks to generous FH supporters and partnerships with local leaders, FH implemented learning modules within the community. Yendeli participated in the entrepreneurship module taught by FH’s economic development and livelihoods program. With this newfound knowledge, Yendeli took the jump to start her own business.

“I learned that if I need money for something, I need to save the money, even if it takes me a whole year to reach that goal,” Yendeli shared. “In the end, I will be able to make it by saving.”

A Growing Business and Thriving Family 

With savings, Yendeli opened a storefront to sell a variety of clothing. Encouraged by her classes, last year she saved RD $58,000 (US $1,030) from her profits. Of that amount, she invested RD $50,000 (US $890) to expand her business by introducing new merchandise. Without savings, she would never have been able to expand her inventory, but now she can cater to different customers’ needs. Yendeli practices leadership skills both within and outside her trade, and finds interactions with customers easier and even enjoyable.

Livelihoods - Savings Groups
Yendeli proudly shares the business she started after taking training modules with FH.

Yendeli’s family is thriving. She can now provide for her children’s daily needs without fear and is raising them in the principles of saving. On one occasion, her child became sick, and Yendeli was able to visit the doctor and cover the medicine without borrowing money.

“I would like to increase my income so my husband doesn’t have to work so far away,” Yendeli shared her future plans. “And I want to buy a home of our own instead of renting.”

Building a Better Future Together  

Yendeli now leads her local FH savings group where she shares lessons learned from her own business. She encourages the group to save so that they too can build brighter futures for their families.

“Our community feels more like family. We are united in seeing our community prosper. Before we did not have the motivation, we thought things would never get better. After FH came to our community, we changed our behavior and started working together. Now we have a fund to help people who are struggling in our community. It makes me so happy we can help each other through savings.”

Through partnerships with local leaders and the unwavering support of FH donors, El Cercadillo is an example of the difference we can make through Strengthen Communities. Yendeli’s story shows how local partnerships and the gift of livelihood education can cause a ripple effect that blesses countless families. Together, we can strengthen more communities so that all of God’s people can flourish.


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