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WORTH

Contacts

Gloria Sangiwa

vice president, program advancement
gsangiwa@pactworld.org

550,000+

women reached through WORTH

15

countries where Pact has implemented WORTH

WORTH is an award-winning micro-banking program that empowers women to lift themselves and each other out of poverty.

WORTH’s unique model brings women and older girls together in groups of 20 to 25 to save money, access credit and start small businesses.

Unlike micro-lending and many other development programs, WORTH provides no capital or seed money; the only materials groups receive are notebooks for recordkeeping and lock-boxes for storing their savings and ledgers. Members are required to make small savings deposits at weekly meetings, and when groups’ funds grow large enough, members may begin taking loans, which they use to start small businesses. 

Groups elect officers, receive literacy and numeracy training, and learn the fundamentals of running a small business. With time, they receive additional training tailored to their needs. Women who grow and sell vegetables, for example, learn about pest management and crop rotation to boost their production.

For many members, the knowledge and income they gain are life-changing. WORTH also builds women’s confidence and social support networks. Many go on to become activists and leaders in their communities and take bigger roles in household decision-making. For their children, WORTH often means better nutrition, health care and education.

Since Pact began using WORTH in the mid 1990s, the program has reached hundreds of thousands of women in more than a dozen countries across Africa and Asia. 

WORTH now serves as a critical piece of Pact’s integrated approach to development. It has been used as a platform to boost women’s involvement in local governance, to lift people with HIV out of poverty, and to spread important information about health, nutrition and sanitation.

Once groups have built a foundation, many continue for years after Pact’s support ends — a testament to WORTH’s sustainability. Some have helped start entirely new groups, training them on their own.

Learn more about WORTH here

 

Stories and Highlights

Building resilient communities in Vietnam's Mekong Delta

August 24, 2017
In Vietnam's Mekong Delta region, women have the tools and resources they need to own their future because of a partnership between Pact and Experian. Learn more about our Mekong Vitality project.

‘If people cannot eat, we will never succeed’: How integrated development is saving Liberia’s forests

April 10, 2017
With some of the richest biodiversity on the planet, Liberia's forests must be preserved. But for communities who depend on them for a living, the problem requires economic, systemic solutions.

In Liberia, WORTH groups share their success with less fortunate neighbors

March 22, 2017
Not long ago, Vera Dolo considered herself in need of charity. Now she's the one helping struggling families.

‘I never had this idea before’: In Liberia, using entrepreneurship to improve lives & forests

March 22, 2017
Patricia Wantoe never earned income before joining a Pact WORTH group. Today, her business is supporting her family, and she's no longer cutting down trees to survive.

WORTH in Liberia: Yorh's story

March 20, 2017
Yorh Brown, a WORTH member in Liberia, talks about how the program has improved her life and helped protect the country's forests. Pact's WORTH groups in Liberia are part of the FIFES project...

For a dedicated mother in Vietnam, entrepreneurship is the key to success

January 5, 2017
After a Caesarean section, Pham Ngoc Yen’s savings was drained. With Pact's help, she's now saving for the future.

WORTH’s Global Impact: Empowering Women from Africa to Asia

December 13, 2016
Twenty years after Pact started its first WORTH group in Nepal, the community banking and empowerment model has transformed the lives of more than 400,000 rural women. Learn more at pactworld.org/...
WORTH women in Tanzania

For Pact WORTH members, formal banking boosts incomes and resilience

November 18, 2016
There is an excited buzz in the air as more than 50 women, some with young children in tow, gather in an open field outside a school in Tanzania’s Kituntu ward. The women are dressed in elaborately...
Florentina Nason with her fellow WORTH group members.

In the face of disease, WORTH helps members live healthier, more secure lives

September 30, 2016
For Florentina Nason, the support of her fellow WORTH group members has made all the difference in her life and hope for the future.
Sophia looks out over her pineapple garden in northern Tanzania.

One woman's journey to provide for her family

July 26, 2016
Two years ago, Sophia Stevens stood on the dusty path at the edge of her pineapple garden proudly showing off her quarter-acre plot. Every day she would walk the steep path to the garden from her...