This project will establish 30 new Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) in Budaka District, involving 900 people, mostly women. The project builds on the success of existing VSLAs, enabling individuals to set up new/expand current businesses. The increased income enables them to pay school fees, pay medical bills, improve their houses. Income from other sources also helps families, many of whom are dependent on farming, to better cope with the changing seasons caused by climate change
The majority of the 150k population in Budaka District are dependent on farming for their livelihoods. With changing seasons and decreasing productivity of the land, income from farming is irregular and declining. Food security is affected, and families struggle to pay school fees, health bills, etc. with women often having to take responsibility for their family's welfare. Low and unreliable sources of income make it difficult to access loans through banks or other financial institutions
To avoid dependency on farming, people are looking for alternative sources of income through small businesses. Women are at the forefront of this effort, and many have already formed Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) to enable them to save, to access loans to establish or expand businesses or deal with unexpected social costs (for funerals, medical bills, etc). There is a strong history of the success of this approach, with the result that an increasing number of women want to join
For each VSLA we are able to set up, up to 30 women and their families will benefit from diversified and increased sources of income, reducing their dependency on income from farming which is becoming less and less reliable. With increased, regular income family wellbeing increases, children can be educated and health improved, as well as new ideas implemented. The regular meetings and careful management of money deepens trust and strengthens relationships in the community.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
A short blog on VSLAs and the project context
Website of Safe Neighbourhood Foundation