Village Savings and Loans Association is an independent and self-managed group of people who save together and take small loans from those savings, it often consists of 15 to 40 members with activities running in cycles of one year, after which the accumulated savings and loan profits are distributed back to the members.

Communities are at the heart of what we do. Realizing that most rural societies have limited access to financial services, we facilitate the formation and official registration of Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) in communities where our beehive fences are installed, to increase access to financial services and insurance of life cycle events to the community members and empower them to buffer financial losses through alternative income. TEF helps provide starting capital to the associations and trains them on group dynamic skills (decision-making process, leadership, handling conflicts), and financial and accounting skills. We also introduce the community groups to a transparent, reliable, and user-friendly mobile application known as CHOMOKA for their record keeping.

Therefore, it is important to make commitment to protecting landscape areas large enough to conserve viable elephant populations of global importance. TEF conduct its research and monitoring program in Arusha National Park, Enduimet WMA, Mkomazi-Tsavo ecosystem and Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem. Our research and monitoring program aims to;

Four VSLA groups, each from four villages of Kisaki, Kisemo, Kisiwani and Tingatinga benefit from this informal financial system. While social funds act as useful lump sums to members for relief during life cycle emergencies such as sickness, death, livestock loss or crop loss from severe elephant crop raiding. Access to credit opportunities enables farmers to take small loans and create alternative income-generating activities (small investments), apart from depending solely on farming that might be affected by elephant crop raiding and in turn support household cash flow.

Assisting communities realizing these financial benefits help increase positive views, committed tolerance towards elephants and surely their support on conservation efforts. These associations also maximize community interactions, identifying and solving various pressing social and economic issues thus strengthen their unity with common goals.