Meet Ernest, Furaha, and Modestine: How the AFECCOR Project Supports Access to Savings and Credit

Meet three members of an artisanal gold mining community in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ituri Province: Ernest, Furaha, and Modestine. They share how safe access to savings and credit has allowed them to build more successful businesses and support their futures.

Modestine is a shopkeeper in Democratic Republic of Congo who runs a store selling clothing to artisanal gold miners in her community. She shares how through safe access to loans, she was able to invest in her second business—produce she farms and sells—and income which she was then able to re-invest into her shop.

Ernest is an artisanal gold miner in Democratic Republic of Congo. He shares how access to savings has him planning for the future with his wife.

In artisanal gold mining communities, gold is often used as currency to cover basic needs, small businesses, and mine site operations—often with unfavourable conditions. The predominance of predatory and informal credit networks is reinforced by the lack of banking institutions.

Furaha is an artisanal gold miner in Democratic Republic of Congo. She shares how access to loans allowed her to invest in her business—a restaurant at the mine site—and ensure she had stable income over the year.

IMPACT’s AFECCOR project supports local artisanal gold miners and community members to establish Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). Members meet regularly over one year to invest their money into their VSLA and loan their growing funds to group members. The AFECCOR project provides a safe space for all members of the VSLA to save and access credit in a context that lacks even the most basic financial services.

Learn more about the AFECCOR project and how it is one of the first case studies to document the introduction of VSLAs to artisanal gold mining communities.

Videos by Sven Torfinn/IMPACT