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women reached through WORTH


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. 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. Pact is now working to digitize WORTH through the myWORTH app

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 more than 1 million women in 16 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.

Stories and Highlights

Epifania Minja: Empowering women across Tanzania through WORTH

March 2, 2021
Epifania Minja leads Pact's WORTH programming in Tanzania, helping women across the country gain skills, resources, confidence and more.

WORTH's impact: A mother of 11 becomes a thriving business owner

August 1, 2019
Ummi Yusuf has 11 children. Together, she and her husband, who she married when she was 18, worked hard to support them. Things changed for their family when he became ill and eventually paralyzed....

Stepping up for young women

April 24, 2019
In Tanzania, young women are particularly vulnerable to HIV. Working with partners Jhpiego, EngenderHealth and the National Institute for Medical Research Mwanza, Pact is helping to build a sustained...

Celebrating 20 years of WORTH

December 20, 2018
In 1998 in a village in the lowlands of Terai, Nepal, just south of the Himalayas, a group of 25 women came together to form a WORTH savings-led microbanking group. Building on a familiar tradition...

The importance of access: Empowering women through technology in Tanzania

June 26, 2018
For many of the more than 2.5 billion adults who lack access to financial institutions, there are few viable options to save. For the past 20 years, Pact has supported more than half a million women...
Young woman in Tanzania shows off her phone with the MyWORTH app.

Opening doors for young women in Tanzania

June 26, 2018
It is a hot mid-afternoon in the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. You wouldn’t know it looking at the young women gathered in the two-room block house in Temeke. Seated on blue plastic chairs, the women...
A young woman in Tanzania opens the MyWORTH app.

Technology to provide leg-up to rural women

March 8, 2018
One of the key building blocks of resilience is financial stability. When a family member suddenly falls ill, having access to income, particularly savings, can make all the difference. But, for many...

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.