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Pardna: still helping hundreds reach their savings goals

MORE MONEY: Hundreds helped by traditional ‘Pardna’ (partnership) schemes

A WOMAN is helping hundreds of people realise their saving dreams through traditional ‘Pardna’ (partnership) schemes.

Jamaican Portia Grant formed Portia’s Partnership Savings Club in May 2005 – and since then she has been offering services to people who most need such help saving.

A Partner is basically a partnership among people to save collectively.

“It is a rotating savings and credit association (ROSCA)…As a registered company in the United Kingdom, we aim to deliver a ‘Pardna Service’ with a difference,” said Grant, whose company offers help to UK-based people from Afro Caribbean and Asian backgrounds, whether they are middle income families who need helping learning how to save; have limited access to credit; are low income; are people who want access to quick cash in emergency situation without the need of a credit history or people who find it difficult to save normally and want to actively save in ‘pardna group.’

She said most her members prefer joining a saving scheme than a bank.

“A bank is an OK place to keep money you’ve made – so you can write everyday checks and pay your monthly expenses, but it’s not a strong place to grow money,” she said. “Our Partner club has proven to be an effective ROSCA that has adapted well to the needs and culture of the members. It’s a way of life’.”

She said once they have joined her scheme, members will pay their pardna through any of the Club 4 different bank accounts.

“Members will be added to our database, and given a unique identification number on their card. They will then be added to our network where they will get regular communications and updates on services. We do Weekly, Monthly, Forth- night and 5 weeks investment. The shortest investment we do runs for 10 weeks, and the longest investment runs for 10 months,” she said.

She added that since 2005, “the Club has grown to the point where many different partners were running at the same time and over 500 members had joined from good recommendations from others. The huge success and referral from club members meant that we can now begin to offer much more services.”

One of them, M.D, from Birmingham, said: “I feel myself saving constantly now that I have joined your club. I have started with a little scepticism, but that changed after being in the club for 4 years and having no problems in getting my draw. I think your (programme) is great.”

The pardna is a system that was brought to Jamaica by African slaves, and was originally used as a device to purchase freedom. African slaves hailed it as a tool of liberation.

“It is an informal financial system usually associated with poor, developing countries with limited access to credit. Jamaican partner developed in the time of slavery, in the absence of other alternatives. It is now a popular form of savings system in Jamaica and called by different names in the Caribbean and is also found in many other parts of the world.”

Other names for pardner are susu (African) and Hui or Wee Chen (Chinese). Grant said: “Our mission is to help solve the fundamental problems that affecting middle income families from achieving financial independence.”

SERVICES OFFERED
Portia’s Partnership Savings Club services include:

• Saving Services (SS) focus on helping our members to consistently put a little away doing it the old fashion way through a non-financial system. (Throwing a pardna).

• Loan Services (LS), helps our members to get a secured/unsecured loan from as little as £50 to £2000 on their savings without the need to produce a lot of paper works and a credit history.

• Order Goods on Credit Services (GS), through which we provide our members to order Domestic Appliances and goods up to there pardna value, with no cost to them but to (pay the monthly bill).

OTHER TYPES OF BENEFITS

These include:

• Discount Accommodation Worldwide: Provides each member the privilege to request a visit to Spain, Tenerife, Cornwall or Scotland to enjoy a 7 night’s holiday luxury accommodation at a discount rate. They also have the advantages of getting discount on accommodation through the club worldwide.

• Discount on All Electrical Installation and call outs: Provides house owners and business members discount on their electrics through our sister company System First Services (GB).

• Discount on Package deals for DJs and Sound hire: All courtesy of System First Services.

• P&P Savings Club works on a “text messaging” and “word –a-mouth” approach. We send regular text to mobiles of any new pardna updates to our members and prospective members phone usually on a Monday and Friday.

• Upon a member receiving their draw a personal text is sent to the individual a week before informing them of this, where they will have to text there bank details for money to be given.

• Once a member has experienced saving with the club they will automatically join the ‘Recommend a Friend Programme’, where they have the option of referring the club to friend and family and getting a reward for their good will.

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