How do rural women come out of poverty?

How do rural women come out of poverty? We believe financial freedom is achieved with knowledge and the confidence to overcome problems and not by falling into the debt trap. We dream of unleashing the power within every rural woman.

Buzz India was launched in March 2012 with the question ‘How do people come out of poverty?’ Indian cities offer financial resources and opportunities to its citizens to achieve their ambitions and dreams. Villages, however, are a different story. Though rich in human capital and in ingenuity, rural people lack opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to pursue their ambitions.

With Self Shakti Program we are trying many new things which haven’t been done before. Instead of a boring training session, we’ve made it an enjoyable and interactive experience. The sessions reach the women in their own villages and incorporate a combination of activities, role-plays, games and storytelling to make it friendly, especially to the unlettered. Here’s how we’re doing things differently.

Our classroom travels
Instead of calling women to our doorsteps, we take our training to theirs. Our travelling bus goes to the women where they are. The bus is powered by solar panels on its roof, equipped with an audio-visual system, a foldable canopy, stationery, water, juice and chairs. It’s a plug-and-play classroom that can be set up and dismantled in minutes. The mobile classroom can start in an empty farm. From outside, a Buzz bus is a bright orange bundle of excitement. Inside, it carries all the tools we need to urge women to achieve their dreams.

We address individual needs
Our program includes modules on communication, book-keeping, daily money management, debt management, goal setting and savings. Women can apply the components, tools and techniques best suited to their particular need and see results. We also restrict the number of participants and do smaller team discussions as many researches have shown us that a lesser number allows the facilitator to pay individual attention to every participant and manage the training more effectively. This is unlike most training programs in which they have one lecture for everyone.

We stay connected
We don’t just give a training and go away. We stay in touch, tracking progress, motivating and encouraging. We stay connected with the community through voice calls, newsletters and Buzz friends who are goodwill ambassadors from the community who have completed the Self Shakti Program. The Buzz friends periodically share stories from across villages, check the effectiveness of the program, encourage and motivate the women to continue healthy financial practices, and assess the impact of the Buzz program on women, their families and their businesses. On taking our Self Shakti Program, a whopping 52% women increased their savings by 50%. See how we’ve already impacted these women’s lives.

Fred Matser (founder)

Fred Foundation was founded by Fred Matser in 1996 to contribute to the development of a more functional society. From a vision of interconnectedness of life and circular thinking.

Read more about Fred