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DreamSave – Improving Financial Security for Women in Makululu

In 2022, we partnered with Habitat Zambia to implement a 12 month project to support over 2,000 female members of Savings Groups from low-income households. The project aimed to deliver socio-economic changes by providing improved savings capacity, financial security, and safer housing through using digital platforms. With increased income, members of the Makululu community were expected to find it easier to pay for security of tenure such as occupancy licences, title deeds and incremental home improvements.


Many vulnerable people in Zambia lack the knowledge to prevent being made homeless by local councils and /or family members through the illegal practise of ‘widow inheritance,’ where a woman is required to remarry a member of their late husbands’ family. For these reasons, Habitat are working with communities to establish study and savings groups. By attending a group, people are taught how to manage their finances, to save and invest, and how to procure land occupancy licences that will give them ownership of their own home and the land it’s built on.


Habitat Zambia collaborated with DreamStart Labs to provide a digital platform to enable Savings Groups to manage financial records, achieve savings goals, build credit history, and connect to formal financial services. Savings Group Agents and Habitat staff received training and 145 Savings Groups were supported in transferring their manual records across to the DreamSave App. The groups compromised a total membership of 2,600 (2,219 females and 381 males) and were selected based on criteria such as being well established, having a high proportion of female members, and which had a mix of younger and older members, to provide support with the technology. In addition, awareness activities to other Savings Groups reached a further 3,2190 community members (2,711 females and 418 males) and indirectly over 7,500 individuals around the use of DreamSave App.  


Kabwe Youth supports the Digitization of Savings Groups.

DreamSave champion, Lynes Kasongo orientating community women on how to use the DreamSave application.


Lynes Kasongo is a 23-year-old woman, a Habitat for Humanity Zambia volunteer facilitator, and a member of Elephant Savings Group. She is currently studying fashion and design at Kabwe Institute of Technology. After completing the course, she intends to use part of her savings to buy a sewing machine and start a tailoring business. Currently, she runs a popcorn business that she started with savings from the Group.


Lynes started working with Habitat for Humanity Zambia as a volunteer in 2019 and later joined Elephant; a Habitat for Humanity Zambia supported Savings Group in 2020. Lynes’ role as a volunteer facilitator includes providing technical support to the Savings Groups. “When the app was first introduced, we faced a few challenges with how slow group members, especially the elderly ones, understood the application, but with time, group members have come to learn the application and appreciate how efficient and secure it can be for savings group” said Lynes.


“I would like to encourage my fellow young people to join Savings Groups as financial inclusion is meant for all age groups. With the arrival of the DreamSave application, their money is highly secure,” she added.


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