This program works to empower women in three poor locations around Mbale in Eastern Uganda. The project aims to do this through a three-fold approach. Firstly establishing savings groups, whereby women work together in groups to save an agreed amount each week and are then able to borrow back from the savings when required. Secondly, running community meetings four times a year in the three different locations, covering topics of interest to the women such as health, agriculture, raising a family. These meetings provide valuable information to the women but also form a basis for establishing relationships and working more deeply with identified women. Finally, the program will run a year-long training course to teach young mothers basic skills in a range of industries which will enable them to earn an income, and to better manage their life. A lot of these mothers are teenagers and are outcasts within their family so have little in the way of support structures.
WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT IT
Our implementing partner has been working in the community for over a decade and has great connections with the community – they know the issues and they know what assistance works. We love the fact that helping these women helps the entire family. The savings groups have been going for a while in other locations and work to prevent families sliding back into poverty when financial shocks occur – they build resilience.
The funds will be used to provide basic equipment to set up 12 savings groups (a lock box and keys, an accounts book) and training for the women on how the groups operate, as well as a small fund to assist more entrepreneurial women take their businesses to the next stage. It will also provide for training for 40 single mothers and pay for 12 community outreach education sessions.
Mbale is an extremely poor area of Uganda. Much of the population is under 16, so teenage pregnancy is rife and successful adult role models are limited. A lot of life is subsistence, based around day to day survival.