FORMATION: In 1986, eight of the women in this club worked together. One of their friends had lost a loved one and on the day of the funeral, they noticed the lack of workforce helping the family on such a difficult day.
This inspired the idea to begin a support club. The women decided on a name that would challenge them to “progress beyond limits”.
MEETINGS & MONEY: The club members meet every alternate month starting from February of each year. As many of the members are in their older years, meeting monthly proved to be a challenge. The chairperson keeps the roster of whose turn it is to host – each member gets an opportunity.
The monthly contribution from each member is R150 per month. The total contribution is then deposited into the club’s bank account, which has three signatories.
Main members, their parents, spouses and children under the ages of 21 are covered by club’s savings as well as insurance policies they invest in for funerals. The club burial benefit ranges from R5500 to R12000.
CHALLENGES: Currently Progress Women’s Club’s biggest challenge is unemployment due to retrenchments and members reaching pension age. However, they’ve managed to survive beyond three decades by exploring various financial options provided in the market such as investments that accrue interest.
NAME: Progress Women’s Club LOCATION: Tembisa, Gauteng FOUNDED: 1986 MEMBERS: 17 MEETINGS: Every second month CONTRIBUTION: R150 funerals.
Stokvel Corner: They have decided to slowly introduce their girl children to take part in the club. This is to ensure continuity of the Progress Women’s Club.
They teach them, among other things, honesty, respect and openness between the members – some of the reasons they say have kept them together for all these years.
Every December, they treat themselves to a day out for lunch or dinner. During this time, they do not discuss the club’s program. They use the time to reflect on the year’s personal challenges and offer each other advice.
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