December 6, 2016



I would like to save money in case we have unexpected expenses.

But each week the money slips away… It would be easier to do it as a group.”

  • FOR WHOM IS ITJANA SAVE is for every group of minimum 5 persons who commits to meet every month to save a small amount of money.


  • THE PROJECT IN SHORT: JANA SAVE is a program designed to support a committed group who wish to use a structured method to save month by month for each one’s individual purpose. The community is there to learn together about budgeting and saving,  discuss potential issues, and celebrate success of being able to save, even if it is for a small amount. Because doing things together as a group is just easier.


  • WHY WE ARE DOING IT: From our focus group with migrant communities, we realized that they are often at the mercy of unexpected expenses at the end of the month or struggling with irregularity of revenues throughout the year. Lack of savings is a major cause of financial insecurity for households and makes them extremely vulnerable to the risk of financial exclusion. The depletion of savings of refugee households has been exacerbated by the long-term nature of the ‘temporary protection of refugees’ in Turkey and by the fact that only since January 2016 Syrian refugees have been legally allowed to obtain work permits. Our objective with this project is to support low income migrants in savings to be able to meet better these challenges but also to promote financial literacy, financial inclusion and in in the long run development of micro entrepreneurship to provide these communities with a stable livelihood.



    • Step 1: creating of small group of 7-15 persons who know each other and trust each other. Trust is very important.
    • Step 2: need assessment survey to understand the composition of the group and be able to measure impact thereafter
    • Step 3: 2 days training in Istanbul given by our partner ACAF for one person in each group. We will provide translation if needed in Turkish and in Arabic; This training will cover information on the methodology as well as some bases of financial literacy
    • Step 4: The person who attended the training will give the training to the rest of the group, supported by the JANA team
    • Step 5: The group will meet and decide of the rules of the group and the roles. JANA’s team will support it. The rules and role will also be notified in the online platform
    • Step 6:
      • Meetings: every month, the group will now meet and save a small amount.
      • Savings: Every one saves what it can, it does not have to be the same amount every month and it can be different from person to person. The money goes to a common account or box but this is not pooled, everyone keeps what he/she put in the box
      • Withdrawing: everyone is free to take it away whenever he/she wants (unless the group decides otherwise)
      • Borrowing: at some stage and according to the rules set up by the group, participants can borrow some money from their friends (without any interest rate and for maximum 2 months)
      • Online follow up: each group should input datas about savings at every meeting in the online platform. This is to avoid issues but also to measure the impact of the program.
      • JANA will not provide any financial support. Jana will attend the first 3 meetings to support the team



    • Why should we save: we think it is always good to have some savings to make sure you are not dependent on others for small money when you need it. Some people will save to pay for school, other to buy clothes or jewels and some others for travelling. Everyone has other objectives and this is OK
    • I don’t have a lot of money I can save, is that OK? We are more working on the process of savings than on the amount; you can decide to save 5TL a month or 10 TL and everyone in the group can decide to save different amounts. You should try to save the same amount every month.
    • What happens if one month I cannot save: you should still join the monthly meeting and explain it to the others.
    • Will JANA give us money for this program? No, the money of the program is your money and will always stay your money. There will be no external money into the project
    • What happens if I need to leave and hence stop the project: You can take out the money you “deposited”. Your money is always staying your money.
    • Will my money be pooled together with the other participant’s money: no, the money will be together in a box but it will be registered at your name and hence you will always know how much money is yours
    • Who is keeping the money? this is a decision that the group will be taken together. This is the reason why you should only start the project with people you trust. JANA or your community centre will not be responsible of this money.
    • Who is the project leader: The project leader is someone you will be choosing among yourself. This person will be the contact person with JANA and the one in charge of inputting the different decisions in the online platform.
    • Will we get any training? The project leader will be trained for two days in Istanbul. JANA will pay for the costs if you need to travel. The project leader of your group  will then give you back the training in 3 hours. We are also working on another larger training which would be given every 2 months for 1 year but this is not yet ready.
    • For how long is this project? Ideally we would like it to be at least 1 year but hopefully you will find it very useful and you will continue it for 2, 3, 5 or even longer.
    • What happens if I need the money: You can also withdrawn your money t the monthly meeting. If you need more money, you can borrow from the others if they agree with it and are guarantors to your borrowing. The borrowing will not have any interest rate and will be for maximum 3 months (or less as decided by your group).



    • Implementation and funding
      • Association of Self Funded Communities, ACAF, was created in Catalonia (Spain) in 2004 on the initiative of Jean Claude Rodríguez-Ferrera, in order to promote the creation of self-funded Communities. This simple methodology has shown that communities of low-income people can fund themselves and have access to credit, without any external help. ACAF is a Spanish non governmental organisation.  ACAF is providing Jana with the methodology, the 2y support in implementation, the training and the access to the online platformlogo-acaf-color
      • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is an international financial institutions created in 1991. Besides Europe, member countries of the EBRD are from all 5 continents. EBRD is providing JANA (though [email protected]) with the funding for the development of this project.
    • Community centres and NGOs
      • Small Projects Istanbul: SPI provide access to formal as well as supplemental education that will assist students and families from Syria to succeed in Turkey and beyond, paving the way for better opportunities in the future. in addition, SPI runs a women’s craft collective for livelihood support to provide the opportunity for skills development and livelihood support, critical for those who need to support themselves and their families but don’t have the right to work. small-projects-istanbul-logo
      • YUSRA: Yusra Community Centre is a resource and information centre in the Balat neighbourhood of Istanbul that serves people in need in the area. The centre has two goals. 1. To provide a fun learning space for children who otherwise have no access to recreation. Different programs provide educational, social and recreational enrichment. 2. To provide assistance – legal, medical, skills training, language and literacy training, information services – to refugee families
    • Our Pro Bono supporter
      • Istanbul & I is an initiative supporting volunteering among young people in Istanbul. Istanbul & I volunteers have been helping us with the Arabic translation needed during the surveys and for some brainstorming around name, etc.
      • Caroline Gaujour: is an artist writing blogs in French illustrated by cartoons. She helped us with the design of our drawings and leaflet. You can see more on her on
      • Arsel Partners: Abdulraham Jaber has been with us from the beginning and is supporting us for the logo and some designs.



  • IMPACT AND REPORTING: We just started the project but we hope we can soon fill this place with reporting, survey we conducted and all the documents we used. Feel free to use them as well or let us know if you think we should improve some part of it
    • Our survey for the beneficiaries of the JANA SAVE program
    • Overview of Microinsurance in Turkey
    • Jana Save Leaflet
    • Training documents
    • Impact criteria
    • Report


  • BLOG: be patient…it is coming




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