WORTH

You are here

WORTH

Contacts

Carrie Keju

senior director, livelihoods
ckeju@pactworld.org

400,000+

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

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/...

Sustainable development: Twenty years after their start, Pact’s first WORTH groups remain

July 14, 2016
Two decades after its founding, in a testament to the WORTH model’s sustainability, the Jyoti WORTH group in rural Nepal is still together, even though it’s been years since Pact’s assistance ended.

WORTH in Nepal: Anita's story

July 7, 2016
Anita Kumari Chaudhary, a member of a Pact WORTH group in Nepal, talks about how the program has improved her life. Learn more about WORTH here. 

For a young woman, a better life through entrepreneurship

March 2, 2016
It isn’t hard to find her in the center of a crowded market in Long Phu commune, Tam Binh district, Vinh Long province. Everyone here knows To Thi Thu Thao, a young woman who always has a shining...

In Myanmar, empowering women is a calling

January 29, 2016
In the nine years that Phyu Phyu Theint has worked for Pact, she has seen a lot of change. 
Mon Myat Thu contributors

In Myanmar, women pay it forward

March 3, 2015
When women do better, entire communities do better. That’s how Pact interprets this year’s theme for International Women’s Day – Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity.
Ma Lin Lin

Empowering women entrepreneurs: Lin Lin’s story

July 9, 2014
Imagine making $4 per day. Now imagine that money has to support a family of six. For Lin Lin, a 30-year-old wife and mother in Myanmar, that was her reality. In the Coca-Cola-produced video, “Every...

Empowering caregivers in Lesotho

June 11, 2014
Mathuso Mokoenya, a 32-year-old mother of four in Lesotho, struggled to provide for her family after her husband left in search of work in South Africa. Although she worked at a local hair salon in...

Learning to save money a stepping stone to women's empowerment

December 31, 2013
Founding member of Pact-sponsored savings group goes on to shape Nepal’s national politics as a member of parliament