ACTogether encourages and supports urban poor communities to get organized around Savings and Loans schemes. Members can save for building a house, securing tenure, implementing a development project inoder to improve their living environment, or for their own individual purposes. According to ACTogether’s approach, the loan proposal, proposal vetting, loan sanctioning and daily savings collections are the community savings groups’ entire responsibility.
It also allows the community to look upon the money as their own and grow in confidence as they learn how to manage their own funds and operate their own savings and loans system. These are usually organized in a much decentralized manner to maximize people’s participation.
The most important vehicle for community learning is through the direct exchange of information, experience and skills between the urban poor communities themselves. As part of the learning and training process for community-led slum upgrading, ACTogether organizesexchange visits and events between the different savings groups at city scale, national scale, and at international scale in partnership with other Slum Dwellers Federations from overseas countries affiliated to the Slum Dwellers International network.
These exchanges also help to spread knowledge about how urban poor groups can take up initiatives to improve their living environment themselves. It is also an important mean to strengthen the federation process that joins together the different savings groups, and to support a continuous learning cycle among its member groups.