YouTube-Video: © Sparkassenstiftung IK (2014)
There are always stories that make me sit up and pay attention.
In these days I received an email from Stefan Knüppel, the current CEO of Opportunity International Deutschland (OID, Cologne), with a link to a short documentary by the filmmaker Andi Kranz (see the YouTube video above). In it a very curious, but yet inspiring, financial savings method from Ghana is introduced and described – the so called “Susu”. What is the deal with “Susu”?
Well, the word “Susu” comes from the Ghanaian language “Akan” and means something like „to measure“. What does “Susu” measure? It’s simple: private financial income and expenses. There seems to be a vast problem in Ghana that people spend (often) hard earned money far too quickly (this phenomenon also exists in some places in Germany). As a result the whole family slips into poverty and has permanently too little to live. Sometimes high interest loans are taken that topples one into financial ruin. “Susu” is a permanent remedy. It is the quite simple method of saving, building small and large reserves. This is how “Susu” works:
- 1. A „Susu“ provider opens a small shop.
- 2. He encourages friends and relatives to regularly save money.
- 3. Each person can decide for himself how much he or she wants to pay daily, for example 3, 6 or 9 Ghana cedi (currently equivalent to 1, 2 or 3 Euro) per day.
- 4. A customer gets a customer card for one month on which the days of the month can be crossed off when he or she has paid his daily saving commitment.
- 5. At the end of the month the customer can withdraw his or her saved money – as in the above example 90, 180 and 270 Ghana cedi (amount paid in daily times 30 days in the month).
- 6. The “Susu” provider keeps a small amount each month as a handling fee.
- 7. Goal: At the end of the month the customer has saved a large amount of money that he or she can invest wisely, for example in school fees, a doctor’s appointment, a refrigerator or new goods for his or her own business.
Conclusion: This “Susu” financial program permanently helps people to save up their own capital and with this money to permanently increase the standard of living of their family. High credit loans become redundant. Many Ghanaians are very excited and pleased about this simple, but effective method of financing.
Next weekend I will be at OID’s inspirational day in Cologne. There the following questions will be considered:
- How can we assist the wonderful and reliable people who lack the financial means, in a dignified and sustainable manner?
- How can we help them and their families on their personal path?
- What can we learn from them?
- What are the weaknesses and hazards involved with various financing methods?
- What motivates us the most to happily take over more responsibility for one another?
If you have time and interest take a look at the documentary. The video lasts just under 42 minutes but it is well worth the investment and perhaps it could pay off financially.
Maybe I should start my own “Susu” business in Bochum. I think that some of my fellows would find such an applied savings very, very useful. If you want to become my first customer then just get in touch via the comments section 🙂What I find inspiring and inviting about „Susu“:
- 1. People don’t go into unnecessary debt.
- 2. Self-discipline is supported and communally practised.
- 3. Private money would be wasted less on alcohol consumption.
- 4. People experience how they themselves can build a small, more beautiful world.
- 5. The deposits of the customers are always well protected.
- 6. They act (usually) more responsibly and are thoughtful with themselves and others.
- 7. They go through life happier and more motivated than others.
© Encourager68 (2014)