In 2012 WGEF will continue to focus on providing microcredit loans and social capital building programs to women in post conflict northern Uganda. As the community rebuilds and recovers, meaningful development programs are essential.
Not only will we provide small loans to women in borrowing groups for traditional businesses, but we intend to build our Agricultural Loan program as well. For the north to have a healthy recovery, they must grow their own food. Northern Uganda is a perfect location for agriculture projects; temperate weather, short growing cycles, adequate rainfall, so irrigation is not needed and women with the knowledge and skills enabling them to have successful harvest, creating food security for their families and communities.
While climate change is an urgent issue, our clients are adjusting to the changes, shifting planting times, drought resistant crops, etc. They grow everything from sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, cassava, to lemons, mangoes and corn.
To date we have given over 3000 loans, over 180 ag loans; our average loan amount is $57 USD, and every loan has been repaid enabling us to recycle and continue to loan money; but we need to build capacity and that is where GG donors play an instrumental role! By donating to our program you are helping us reach more and more women with vital access to funds to create a business or ag project. These project provide women with the means to take care of themselves and their families, send their children to school, purchase medicines, and experience increased food and human security.
We have women who are creating small scale restaurants, lodges, food service, tailoring, child care, beauty salons, and many other entreprenuerial endeavors. In addition to economic activity, we focus on literacy, leadership development and health initiatives. WGEF believes that while microcredit can be an effective tool at alleviating extreme poverty, when bundled with social programs, it can be revolutionary. Please see the attached article about what is happening in northern Uganda!
Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to women's empowerment and social justice.
In 2012 WGEF is committed to providing economic and educational support to women in northern Uganda. We will focus on traditional microfinance loans and grow our agriculture loan portfolio, enabling women to increase food security for themselves, families and communities.
Attached, is our 4th quarter report for 2011. We were once again successfully at growing our program and maintaining a zero default rate. The spirals in our program are allowing the entire community to benefit from our Credit Plus program.
Also, please look at the photos posted on our project page. WGEF clients are experiencing sustainable human development, creating vibrant and diverse businesses. The businesses include: agro projects, livestock, restaurants and food service, child care, tailoring, selling fruits and vegetable in the market, and a host of other creative and thriving businesses.
We hope you are inspired by what is possible for women recovering from a brutal insurgency, violence and poverty. Please continue to support WGEF and the women of northern Uganda.
Women's Global Empowerment Fund provides microfinance and educational opportunities to women recovering from brutal violence and poverty in post conflict northern Uganda. While microfinance can be an effective tool to alleviate extreme poverty, when bundled with social capital building programs it can be revolutionary. It is this belief behind the Credit Plus model which focuses on three areas in addition to the loan program: Literacy, Leadership Development and Health.
WGEF was founded in 2007, becoming fully operational in 2008, opening an office in Gulu, Uganda serving the women of the community returning from many years in the IDP camps, abduction and hopelessness. To date WGEF has given over 3000 loans; average loan size is $45, 400+ women have participated in our literacy program, and 5 clients ran for political office with 3 successfully winning their races. In addition to our literacy program, we have extensive leadership development opportunities, quarterly health initiatives and a yearly drama festival where women work in teams to present dramas, songs and dances to the community focusing on inequality and challenges.
In 2010, we introduced our agro loan program. To date we have give 180 agro loans with 100% success rate, creating increased food security and small/medium women farmers.
Our strategy is to provide women with the framework necessary to create viable opportunities for themselves and their families. Through grassroots strategies, marginalized women are given the tools necessary to alleviate poverty thus facilitating sustainable development and empowerment. Our goal is to work for social justice and increased human security.
Grace, a WGEF client wrote the following letter:
My name is Grace, 29 years old, I have 3 children and a member of Kwo Aye Lonyo women group, I joined WGEF in 2008 and together with my members we have received 5 loan cycles. I sell fruits in the market and do some agriculture for home consumption. It was my first time to join any loan program and I feel preveraged to be part of the WGEF. I receive only 80,000shs $40 as my first loan which I invested in fruits as of now I have 300,000 $160 in my capital which I have raised through my saving and profits. I m so happy that I can now read and write my name an opportunity which I lost when I was young but when WEGF opened the free literacy program I was among the first one to register.
I was among the many girls who were abducted by Joseph Kony’s Rebels LRA and I spent 8 years with them in busy I was brutally beaten, forced to carry heavy loads and was forced to kill one of the girls whom we were abducted with using a stick imagine! I was raped and forced to sleep with many rebels to the extent that I don’t know the fathers of my 2 beautiful kids whom I came back with after being rescued by government forces.
My lucky day was when I mate Prisca who was already in the program she told me that if we form a group of 5 members she can introduce us to the office and we will be supported, I couldn’t believe in myself not until I saw her group when they were attending a training with Bukenya who did not know acholi language but was struggling to make everyone understand and was encouraging those who failed I remember him telling women try again you will make it then I felt somehow confident. We formed my group that day we did not have money for taking our photos but Bukenya used his camera and we agreed to start the training then next week, for 3 weeks we were done and received our loan of 400,000 $200 for a group for 3 month.
After repaying our first loan I realized to have saved 12,000 $8 it was my first achievement in my life and it made me to believe in myself, we requested for the second loan until now we are still getting loans and training from the program.
My 2 children are schooling and I pay for their requirements, I rent for myself, I have bought 2 goats and rearing local chicken, now my relatives loves me and I m staying with a man all this I was able to get it after joining the program I love the program and I wish if the program can extend to villages and reach more women since now many have shifted back and I would like to continue attending Literacy training for higher levels.
Thank you for the opportunity to share with you, by the way this is an achievement to me I used to fear to share but now I will never be silent again.
Member Kwo Aye lonyo
The goal of Women’s Global Empowerment Fund is to provide economic opportunities, giving women the tools necessary to create sustainable development. By looking back at global precedents and looking forward to what is possible, Women’s Global is poised to create a sustainable organization based on our current Credit Plus model and the belief that the true power of microfinance is in its potential to transform. We believe this transformation can only happen if our program continues to be relevant and provocative.
Women’s Global Empowerment Fund was founded upon the belief that microfinance can be a revolutionary concept, and when bundled with educational programming, can build social capital and increase the potential for women’s empowerment and success. It is this belief that created our Credit Plus program.
Women’s Global Credit Plus program combines microcredit services with health, nutrition, family planning, and basic business education into a single service reaching under served women in cities, villages and rural areas. Through our Credit Plus program, participants will receive a microcredit loan bundled with social and educational services, allowing them to create an opportunity for sustainability, increased food security and health and nutrition. Investing in women and families by creating a social network provides not only small business loans, but educational opportunities as well. This can help women to build livelihoods and a brighter future for the families. Our program goal is poverty reduction, human security enhancement and women’s empowerment. Our motivation is the belief that very poor women can rise above poverty with dignity.
In the second quarter of 2011 WGEF gave out 131 new loans, included 20 new borrowing groups; average loan size is $31 usd; loans at risk remains at 0. Please visit our website for more information, www.wgefund.org
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