1,000 Microloans for Rural Women in East Africa

by Women's Microfinance Initiative
Dec 8, 2009

Women's Microfinance Initiative

The new building opens its doors to the Buyobo community.
The new building opens its doors to the Buyobo community.

The loan program is continuing to expand rapidly and currently has over $60,000 in outstanding loans to women in 50 rural villages around Mbale, UG. The loan repayment rate is 100%. Local Coordinators visit the borrowers on a rotating basis to talk about their businesses. We thought you might like to hear about some of their reports on the borrowers' progress:


"The business is growing, there is new stock but she says the customers are scarce. nevertheless she is hopeful that in the next month when the harvesting coffee begins and as we draw near to Iddi day and x-mass time she will be having more. The family health is good and family helps in minding the home and the elder son helps in marketing. He moves round with pieces of clothes so that those interested may buy on the price he’s instructed. Phoebe says the loan programme has benefited her a lot, she has been able to acquire furniture (chairs), and mattress and she pays school fees without stress, all this is from her profit. The book keeping has been managed."


"Both businesses are running smoothly Allen is involved much in the buying of maize and the husband helps in shop keeping. She says when the maize season will be over she will be trading in coffee. The family health is good and living happily. The WMI programme has helped her in meeting school dues and improving on the standard of living for this reason she is happy and appreciative for the programme. Record keeping is being handled properly."


"The business is doing well. She says she has been staggering in the first weeks but as per now she is stabilizing. Her shop is new in the community where by she did not have the customers and did not have the experience in managing a shop. She says the knowledge given during the training helped her a great deal and she is grate full for the work WMI has done for her. She says she begun slowly using the skills taught and she is improving day after day. She says, long live WMI. The family health is good and she has a plan of involving the elder daughter so that when she is away the daughter can help her."

WMI is very fortunate to have 2 interns in Buyobo for 6 weeks to work on educational issues and tutoring. They are Margot Vandervossen, who just graduated from Leiden University with a degree in International Relations, and Brian Miller, who is in the Master's in Education program at Binghamton University in NY.

Business success and education go hand in hand. The interns are tutoring village children who are on school break and recommending improvements to the daily school program, as well as adult education options.

WMI shipped 1,000 donated children's book to the village in November. Margot and Brian reported that hundreds of children turned out to watch them unpack the books and shelve them in the library the women have started in the building WMI constructed this past spring. There were big smiles all around.

In October, WMI hosted a World Bank Training to Train program in Buyobo. Ten village women met for 3 days of intensive business training. They live in the villages alongside borrowers and will be able to provide ongoing business training to ladies in the loan program.

I will be traveling to Uganda in January, 2010 and will interview several local widow's associations and community outreach groups that have asked for WMI's help in starting a microloan program. Next year we are looking forward to launching even more rural women on their way to establishing businesses, including a group in Kenya.

The loan program has had a profound impact on borrowers’ lives. It has allowed them to improve the standard of living for their entire family in a very short period of time. WMI has posted results from its semi-annual borrower surveys on its web site: wmionline.org

Thank you for your ongoing support of WMI's microloan program. With your help, we are changing the face of poverty, one loan at a time.

Buyohildren reading from the donated books in the new building.
Buyohildren reading from the donated books in the new building.


  • Donna
    Donna very good update - thanks!
    • 7 years ago
    •  · 
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Organization Information

Women's Microfinance Initiative

Location: Bethesda, MD - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.wmionline.org
Project Leader:
Robyn Nietert
Bethesda, Maryland United States

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