Exciting community transformation is happening in Uganda through economic empowerment programs! Children’s HopeChest believes in dignity, not dependence. The five incredible projects below not only help to provide necessary income, but also promote feelings of resilience and independence.
Join us in celebrating five projects that are making a huge economic impact for vulnerable children, their families, and their communities in Uganda.
Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA)
VSLAs are a micro-finance model that allows impoverished and vulnerable individuals access to credit for small businesses or income-generating projects. Interest rates at financial institutions for small loans can be outrageously high (as much as 24%!). VSLAs Loans are charged 10% interest, and when repaid, the interest goes into the VSLA account which is then paid out as profit to all the members based on their percentage of savings over the year.
Recently, VSLA trainings were conducted and 410 guardians were trained at Nabukalu, Kakira, Nyada, and Ochuloi CarePoints! The objective of the trainings was to empower guardians and community members with VSLA principles, create a culture of saving, and build economic development aimed at improving household incomes and sustainable livelihoods.
Areas emphasized during training included group dynamics and formation; financial literacy; goal setting; conflict resolution; savings, loans, and interest; developing a group constitution; and business development.
Brick-Making Women’s Group
The women’s brick-making group has 15 members at Kakira CarePoint who embarked on brick-making as a means of fighting poverty in their households. The group has been working together for one year. When they started they were using basic materials for the bricks.
HopeChest Uganda facilitated a training for the group on business skills and provided them with a loan to boost their business. The group has so far secured space for storing their bricks, and they currently have 8,000 bricks ready for sale!
The CarePoint staff continue to mentor the group to ensure that their dream of becoming leading brick-suppliers in Kakira comes true.
Children’s Crafts Project
Fifteen children at Adacar CarePoint were trained in making crafts to empower them with new skills and keep them engaged in productive activities during the lockdown. The CarePoint hired a trainer to teach the children how to make sellable products and also purchased materials to use in the project. The children have so far made four small purses and fives table spreads.
They are currently focused on making even more products, and when enough crafts are made, they will be sold. Proceeds will be distributed to the children who took part in making the items, and the money will be useful for them to take care of small necessities in their lives.
After the children complete the project, CarePoint staff will keep encouraging them and mentoring them to market their products. This project increases children’s independence and shows them they can create beautiful things with their own hands.
Sheep-Raising Project for Seniors
Adacar CarePoint implemented a project with the aim of supporting seniors, widows, and other vulnerable community members. Raising livestock helps many individuals get closer to financial independence and self-reliance.
Forty-one seniors and vulnerable community members were identified from seven villages in the Adacar community and were grouped in pairs of two. Sheep were purchased by the CarePoint and distributed to the 22 pairs of program participants.
The sheep project is rotational, and the first offspring of each sheep will be given to other beneficiaries who did not receive sheep from the first round!
The Ongongjoja CarePoint was recently supported with seeds and materials for an agricultural program. Guardians of CarePoint children worked tirelessly and managed 538,196 square feet of land for groundnuts (peanuts) and harvested 17 bags of rice.
The groundnut harvest and 17 bags of rice will be sold this month and the proceeds used for guardians to purchase items that will improve their living conditions for their families at home.
There are numerous, exciting projects occurring at CarePoints around the world that are promoting economic independence! Did you know that there are currently projects waiting to receive funding so they can lift off and begin transforming communities? Take a look at the unique economic development projects on the Wheel of Transformation!