> Take action > Our Experiences > Participatory collective actions > The solidarity calabashes

< Retour

The solidarity calabashes

Capitalization of a social and solidarity strategy

The UGPM made a capitalization about the solidarity calabashes, following a meeting of exchange of experiences between 5 groups which implemented this social change alternative.

  • What is a solidarity calabash ?

1) What is the calabash ?
• The solidarity calabash is a proximity system made to strengthened solidarity, reduce inequalities and protect against all forms of usury based on the principles and values of solidarity, transparency, confidentiality and equity.
• Depending on the specificity of the context,, the members of the calabash meeteither once a week, every two weeks or once a month and « put their hand » in a calabash covered by a fabric."

Apport Volontaire et Anonyme (AVA)

• The funds collected in the calabash are primarily intended to finance interest-free cash loans to individuals for expenses related to food, health and the education of children.

2) Who are the actors involved ?
• People living together and trusting each other.
• A group, a community that faces economic and social challenges such as the lean season.
• An organization (the UGPM), a facilitator to support them.

3) How do they organize themselves ?
Office of the solidarity calabash the members are designated by the populations in a general assembly :
They ensure compliance with the rules of procedure, receive loan applications, analyze the motives and grant loans to members as well as to needy non-members.
Rules of procedure developed by the members :
It defines the responsibilities, the place and days of resource mobilization meetings, the recipients of the loans, the purposes of the loan, the terms of repayment, the sanctions and the activities that it does not finance.
• The main criterion for eligibility to the loan is the trust that the recipient inspires to the members of the office. The loans granted by the solidarity calabash are confidential and interest-free.
• A UGPM facilitator to support the process, from the sharing of the idea to the reflection on the mode of operation and the rules, to the development of the management tools and their maintenance.

4) Some examples of changes generated by the calabash
• A better access to basic social services (health, education) ;
• An improvement in the quantity and quality of food for the population ;
• A strengthening of dialogue, mutual aid and solidarity.

Testimony of Daba Diagne
"My last emergency credit allowed me to enroll my child in a French school in Merina. Also, I can add that apart from the emergency credits of the SC, these funds have allowed me to initiate other activities such as the purchase and resale of oil, rice and coal to the members of the SC. These activities allow SC to diversify its resources and address the problem of low VAC (Voluntary and Anonymous Contributions). »
Daba DIAGNE, SC of Ndiandiar

5) Some difficulties encountered
In some calabashes :
• Non-repayment of loans ;
• Non-transparent management ;
• Non-respect of the rules of procedure linked to the level of illiteracy in the community which can create difficulties in its appropriation by the members.

6) Some perspectives inspired by this practice

• The calabash is a flagship strategy that must be reinforced by others in order to power its autonomy, the grouped purchases, the local consumption, the trainings, etc.
The appropriation by the members is the best strategy to perpetuate the solidarity calabashes.

Today, the UGPM has 60 solidarity calabashes.

For more explanations about this capitalization, you can listen to the testimony of Modou, a central animator of the UGPM.

Don’t forget to enable the English subtitles for this video by clicking on this icon :

To read the UGPM’s capitalization in full, we suggest you download the following file :

Capitalization of the solidarity calabashes
Capitalization of the solidarity calabashes
Accompagner une capitalisation
Accompagner une capitalisation
Auteur(s) : UGPM