As a mother of seven I had no idea about how my life would be after the impact of the LRA War. I was abducted at the age of six and returned with two children, I hardly knew what to do with my life because my parents were gone. After a few years I met a man whom I thought would provide me with all the security I needed, all was a myth because he kept beating me each time I asked for money and whenever he came home drunk causing even more pain and suffering. With all the pain I wanted to return to the bush where life was much easier but whenever I looked at my children I felt they needed me because no one could look after them after I was gone. It was then that I started growing vegetables and selling but the money was not even enough to cater for our upkeep because my husband could even take it away from me.
I had one problem after the other, with no one to turn to but one day I met a group of Women Benefiting from WGEF, after several days, a peer counselor shared with me a lot about what I was going through and introduced me to the Program, due to my low self esteem I feared to be among other women but gradually I gained the courage.
My life has now changed not only because of the loans but also the trainings that I received. I managed to start up a business and a live stock project which is helping me pay school fees and other basic needs; I also bought a bicycle from the profits which has eased the transportation of my products to the market. At this point the relationship within my family has improved and we are working together to provide for our family, people in my community now respect me and I am now even a community leader, something I thought wasn’t meant for me. At last I have the hope that was long gone.
“Please fellow women, do not think whatever you went through or are going through cannot change – we can rise above poverty once equipped with the right tools”
“Akello Beatrice – Bungatira” God Bless WGEF
Women's Global continues to strengthen northern Ugandan communities, supporting the advancement of women thru micro-financing, education and critical programs for women and families recovering from war, violence and extreme poverty. To date we have provided more than 3200+business loans; 500 women have participated in our literacy program since 2008 and on October 6th we will host our 5th annual drama festival, Creating a Voice for Women, enabling women to use drama and theater to tell their stories and challenge their communities, with no stigma attached.
Women ready for loans and training in August 2012:
She wants to open a Retail Shop; Ayoo is a 46 year-old widow supporting 7 children. Loan amount: $61 USD
She wants to open a Bakery; Siliva is 31 years old is married with 3 children. She needs: $49 USD!
She wants to open a Retail Shop; she is 32 years old, married with 4 children, loan amount: $73 USD!
She wants to invest in agriculture; Apoto is 41 years old, and a widow supporting 6 children, Ag loan: $81 USD.
Charity is no substitute for justice – Michael Eric Dyson
The mission of Women’s Global Empowerment Fund is to reach women recovering from conflict and violence in northern Uganda through micro-finance loans and education programs creating opportunities while strengthening families and communities.
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.
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.
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
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