Priscilla thought that in order to save money, you needed a lot of money to begin with. Thanks to SOS Children's Villages' family strengthening programme, she has started saving. She now has enough to expand her income generating scheme, feed her family, pay for school fees and still put a little money aside as savings.

Approximately 1600 children and their caregivers benefit from family strengthening programme in Livingstone. Each family selected to enter the programme establishes a Family Development Plan to determine the steps needed to reach self-reliance.

To ensure that children are protected and cared for, the FSP builds the capacity of caregivers to become self-reliant, to fully care for and protect their children and be able to cover children's needs for education and health services. The programme works to improve access to economic resources among families through income generation activities, village loans and savings associations and small-scale farming.

SOS Children's Villages' family strengthening programme (FSP) supports families in Livingstone. Photo: SOS Archives

Priscilla's story

– My name is Priscilla. I am an affiliate of the Liyoyelo community group. This is one of the community based organisations which the SOS Social Centre facilitates for families like mine.

SOS Social Centre support in the form of inputs and materials were given to us as a starting point towards becoming self-sufficient. We need to be able to help ourselves, but it is hard to start. I did not understand that you can start small and things will grow. I thought that you had to have a lot of money to be able to save for the future, and I did not have any money at all.

I have been gardening and farming since joining the family strengthening programme so that we can feed ourselves. I realised that I could grow a little bit more and sell the vegetables and raise the money myself. I have been steadily expanding my gardening project. I managed to put a little money aside each week at the community group and look forward to a time when I can start borrowing from it. By the next time school fees have to be paid, I can borrow from this group.

There are other things that I would like to do. I would like to settle the money that I owe for the examination fees of my eldest grandson, who I look after. I also want to buy school uniforms for the younger children who are in grades one and four. They came to stay with me after losing their parents. I want to spend part of the money on buying fertilizer and other gardening inputs so that I can expand my gardening activities.

My life has changed and I am so pleased with SOS Children's Villages for introducing such a programme in our area. I've got future plans too! I want to set up a little shop where I can sell my garden products. When my business grows, I will employ a garden caretaker while I sell at my shop.