krma-US Partners decided to work with a women’s group after reading many studies that have found that women use money to take care of their families much more effectively and reliably than do men.
One of the most important consequences of our work has been to document the changes in male-female relations once women begin achieving significant financial gains.
The krma-US Partners’ Cassava Project has transformed some women’s relationships with their husbands. Many acknowledge that their wives are excellent financial managers and several have let them take over the family finances. In other homes, the husbands and wives have become partners in financial decision making. Men who have partnered with their wives by joining in the farm work enjoy increased status and personal happiness.
For women without husbands, krma-US Partners provides an income source that allows them to remain independent and provide for themselves and their children.
One of the exciting aspects of KRMA is its rise from a prayer group in an Internally Displaced Persons camp to a fully formed women's cooperative partnered with krma-US Partners. These women are already leaders.
Savings groups are common in many African countries, but traditionally the pot of savings is divided at the end of the year so that the next year’s pot starts at zero. One of the attractions of KRMA is that in addition to savings, the women designed their own loan program so that members may borrow funds for a three-month term, at 10 percent interest.