May 19, 2021

I Almost Gave Up on Life!

Agather
Agather

Agather aged 39, is a widow with three children and seven other dependents all are refugees who settled in Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Together with the other five members formed a self-help group Women Group. She says VAC-NET came at a time she needed a hand to hold her from collapsing. “I was having a timber business in the Democratic Republic of Congo when I lost all I had to the soldiers that confiscated all my timber and took all the money I had. It was a trying moment and I was on the verge of giving up on life as I had completely nothing. I and my family ran away from violent conflict in our country and we settled in Gulu.

A friend of hers invited her for training. It was about addressing the mindset. A number of facilitators talked and gave them hope and encouraged them to look at things from a positive angle. The facilitators told the story of a Bumble Bee that manages to fly even when many people thought it had no ability to fly. This motivated Agather and she started imagining herself holding millions of shillings again. During the training, she learned about business Selection and Projected Income Statements that enabled her to identify the business opportunity of growing and selling Rice.

After the training, she requests an agro loan of $350 and used it to buy rice for selling; and used the balance to hire and prepare land for growing beans and maize and UGX800,000 for paying school fees. After harvesting, she raised 2.4 million shillings from two tonnes of beans and one tonne of maize and also continued buying and selling Rice.

She has since diversified into a big supplier of produce linking the buyers from Gulu in Uganda with those in neighboring DRC who need all most food. She has been consistently working in this field and her daily sales range between UGX300,000 and UGX800,000 per day.

Agather currently employs 4 workers. She has a daughter at University where she pays her tuition, 

"I was on the verge of giving up on life,"  Says: Agather

Women like Agather inspire us to do more and we thank you for your continued support using the power of microloans and education women can break the cycle of poverty and support their communities. Your thoughtful investment not only brings hope but it facilitates sustainable empowerment for women.

Thank you

Links:

Feb 5, 2021

Because of you I have returned back to school safe

Pads Distribution during COVID-19 lockdown
Pads Distribution during COVID-19 lockdown

The effects caused by the measure to combat COVID-19 has affected the production and distribution of affordable sanitary pads to many girls and women. This shortage has resulted in a further bigger threat of increased teenage pregnancy and child marriages in many rural communities, If the supply does not flow continuously we risk having many girls dropping out of school.

“There is a lot of demand for affordable pads. We have received a lot of requests,” says Minishifa a project officer from one of our production units. Our production units have been idling since the lockdown was imposed, simply because we were not able to receive the raw materials. Through the period we have been distributing pads that were produced and in storage to needy girls and women and also supplying them at a cost to those seeking to buy.

There is a growing fear that if the schools open in March 2021 we might not be able to supply the needy rural schools with affordable pads if the governments do not act urgently to restore the normal production of affordable sanitary pads, the gains made over the last years in improving menstrual hygiene may be reversed in rural and peri-urban areas.  We will want the government to allow normal operations of the units making these sanitary pads while observing social distancing norms as well as the unfettered distribution of the pads. Most of our units and distribution of the pads are done by women, who are organized as self-help groups. A return to normalcy is also important to restore the livelihood of these women,  Says:-  Bukenya

When the government partially open schools for candidate classes we have distributed over 1,260 packs of sanitary pads. We acknowledge this is not enough and we will need to double our supply in the coming months, we can never sit back and watch the future of young girls robbed. 

   Quote:

"Because of you I have returned back to school safe, many of my friends are pregnant and some have been forced to get married, others ran away from their homes due to violence and the luck of the essentials like sanitary pads," Says- Esther -a 13-year-old girl.

We believe this is critical and will continue to the fight for gender justice around menstrual health, we cannot do it without your thoughtful investment consider invest as small as $50 monthly to enable girls and women to have access to affordable sanitary pads 

Thank you!

Links:

Jan 23, 2021

I feel proud that I'm self-reliant now

Lilly
Lilly

"I started like any other member of my group, we are all successful but our level of success is different when we received the training in business skills, I practiced what I learned, keeping records, budgeting, and saving. After 3 years my business and family are stable and I feel proud that I'm self-reliant now"  Says Moreen.

Moreen aged 39, is a widow with three children and seven other dependents; all are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Moreen, with the other five members, formed a business group. She says the program came at a time she needed a hand to hold her from collapsing. “I had a timber business in the Democratic Republic of Congo when I lost all I had to the soldiers. I was on the verge of giving up on life as I had completely nothing.

A friend invited her to a business skill training organized by Volunteer Action Network and WGEF training; a number of facilitators spoke and gave them hope, encouraging them to look at things from a positive angle. The facilitators told the story of a Bumble Bee that manages to fly even when many people thought it had no ability to fly. This motivated Moreen. During the training, she learned about Enterprise Selection and Projected Income Statement that enabled her to identify the business opportunity of growing and selling coffee.

After the training, she requested an agro loan of $320  and used it to buy coffee for selling; and used the balance to hire and prepare the land for growing beans and maize and $217 for paying school fees. After harvesting, she raised $800 from two tons of beans and one ton of maize and also continued buying and selling coffee. Moreen has since diversified into a big supplier of produce linking the buyers from Gulu in Uganda with those in neighboring DRC who need all most food. Since 2016, she has been consistently working in this field, and her daily sales approximately $81 per day. Her businesses are now is worth over $1500 (USD). Moreen currently employs 4 workers. She has a daughter at the university where she pays tuition of $400 per semester and another child in A-level. She is now very influential in her group and community as a whole.

"I started like any other member of my group, we are all successful but our level of success is different when we received the training in business skills, I practiced what I learned, keeping records, budgeting, and saving. After 3 years my business and family are stable and I feel proud that I'm self-reliant now"  Says Moreen..

Despite the uncertainties presented by 2020 with a global pandemic, It is clear: the economic and social toll of Covid-19 affected women and girls disproportionately, we are grateful together we were able to support 1,422 microloans, these included supporting women to restart their business that was affected by the effects of the pandemic. Many women reported positive stories.

“I’m confident I will be able to take care of myself, educate my children and support my family despite the effects of Corona I will stand again because I have the skills and experience plus access to resources,” Sarah says 

Women like Moreen is the reason why microloans and women’s empowerment is important because the benefits lift the entire community. We are committed to continuing to support women with the tools they need to achieve self-reliance and we cannot do it without your thoughtful partnership and investment. Consider investing $50 to enable women in Uganda to enable her to start a business 

Akello
Akello
monica
monica

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.