Inside The Box

Each Seed Effect Savings & Loan group receives a secure metal box filled with the necessary tools for establishing a safe place to save.

These tools, combined with the long-term guidance of our indigenous staff, promotes holistic poverty alleviation.

Bible Study

Every meeting begins with prayer and a time to study the Word of God through lessons provided in the Bible Study. For many members, their savings and loan groups are what we’d consider our church “small group”.

What our members – especially the South Sudanese refugees we serve – talk most about is the spiritual and emotional impact of being in a Christ centered group.

Our indigenous staff is committed to ministering to their people and so, every weekly savings group meeting is centered around the spiritual aspect.

Training Manual

Our Field Officers use this group training manual to lead a series of three introductory meetings for anyone in the community with interest in joining a Seed Effect Savings & Loan group.

These prospective members learn the basics of the program and a Biblical perspective of poverty.

Field Officers continue to use the training manuals as they gather weekly with their assigned savings groups – truly training them with the step by step instructions. [How to structure weekly group meetings, collecting savings and repayments, share out funds, etc.]

This allows the Field Officers to empower their members to continue operating independently after their first savings cycle [which usually last 9-12 months].

Locks + Keys

Living in a refugee settlement and/or without access to a bank makes it hard to find a safe place to save.

That’s why we provide every Seed Effect Savings & Loan Group a box with three sets of locks and keys. Each group elects a Box Keeper and three Key Holders.

This means, in order to open the group’s savings box, the Box Keeper and all three Key Holders must be present! Creating safety and security, accountability and ownership.

Money Counting

Each savings group elects their own leadership team from within their group – which includes two Money Counters.

During weekly savings group meetings, the Money Counter counts the money collected in the bowls. Contributions are then recounted (with the calculator) for accuracy by the second Money Counter.

Group members are required to contribute between 1 and 5 shares each week. The share amount is determined by the group per their constitution. On average 1 share = 1,000 shillings or $0.28. Once the money is counted, it’s placed in the money bag and serves as the loan fund.

Money Bags

The two bags included in the savings box hold the group’s pooled funds. From the counting bowls, the group’s weekly funds are transferred into these bags for security and organization.

One bag holds the group’s entire savings. The second bag holds the social fund. This fund is given as a grant to group members who may need extra support due to an emergency situation (house burned down, medical emergency, etc). Every group member contributes weekly to the social fund at an amount decided on by the group’s constitution.

Record Keeping

As each member brings their weekly contributions forward to be counted, the group’s elected Record Keeper writes these amounts into this ledger.

Along with savings contributions, every loan and repayment are also recorded in the ledger. Because this ledger tracks all of the group activity, the ruler is often used to create columns for organization.

While the groups contribute savings weekly, they disburse and repay their loans monthly. Each group sets their interest rate and process for determining who gets a loan in their constitution.


Each group member receives their own passbook. This serves as their personal ledger for recording their savings shares each week.

In the back of the passbooks, members also record loans they’ve taken out including the interest rate for borrowing and payments made. The amounts recorded in the passbooks should match the group’s ledger, creating another level of accountability.

Stamp + Ink

During meetings the Record Keeper gives an official stamp for each share contributed that week.

The group ledger and the member’s passbook both get stamped. One stamp = One share contributed! With up to five shares each week.

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May 13, 2024

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