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* Thanks to the generosity of Montezuma’s they have donated Chocolate bars to Children on the Edge, so that all your donation goes to the work of Children on the Edge.
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Over 90% of our small business loan recipients in Uganda now feed their children better and send them to school
For the last 18 months, since the success of our pilot education loans in Masese II, the Child Protection Teams (CPTs) we support in Uganda have been expanding the scheme in Loco, Masese I and Masese III.
Education loans are small business loans given via the CPTs to the most vulnerable households, enabling them to create a source of income which covers the costs of providing for their children and sending them to school.
After the most needy households are identified, people are invited to attend a series of training workshops, which include a focus on saving, small business training and opportunities to form self help groups.
These ‘education loans’ have gone from strength to strength, with an external evaluation in September 2017 stating how loans have ”boosted the economic capacity of respective households to meet their needs such as education, food [and] medical care…”
To receive the loan, a prospective business owner will make a business plan and write an application with support from the CPT. They are given a timeframe within which to pay it back, by which time they have a thriving business, a child in school and a good knowledge of how to manage their own finances.
The external report included feedback from many recipients including a mother from Masese III who said “I thank God for bringing Children on the Edge, because I was really struggling but they gave me 200,000 Ugandan shillings and I am now able to educate my children, buy books, feed my children and even pay rent. Although there has been a problem with hunger in the community, my situation has not been as bad as it would have been without Children on the Edge support. That capital helped me to start a small business where I sell tomatoes and silver fish”.
Repaid loans are then available to be passed on to someone else in need. With recipients paying a little interest, the loan pot can gradually grow, in order to help an increasing number of households. The repayment of the loan with a little interest also teaches business and budgeting skills, rather than dependency, and makes the fund itself sustainable.
A community evaluation of the ‘Most Significant Changes’ in the area, facilitated in January 2018 showed how the development of a ‘savings culture’ had significantly improved the financial status of those involved. Robina from Masese II described how “I was able to start saving as well as reserve some money to send my five children to school, provide them with basic needs and scholastic materials. So basically I am happy because my children are back to school and I can provide for the family needs as a single parent.”
The workshops introduce the benefits of saving and give hints and tips on how to put money aside, even through times of financial stress. Each person attending has a trial period of demonstrating they can save money and budget, before they are given their first loan.
Over 90 people are currently participating in the loan scheme, nearly half of whom are supporting five or more children. Not only have over half these people increased their savings, but an incredible 92% have reported that they are now able to feed their children twice a day. 93% are also now able to send their children to school, maintaining regular attendance.
Find out more about the difference these loans make in people’s lives by reading Lydia and Irene’s stories. Just click their images below:
Through 150 classrooms, we provide education for 7,500 Rohingya refugee children in the Kutupalong camp, Bangladesh. This project has been announced by global education nonprofit HundrED, as ‘one of 100 most inspiring K12 innovations across the world’.
HundrED aims to share best practice ideas and K12 innovations across borders, to help improve the future of education globally. To achieve this, a team of researchers investigated innovations from around the world to determine 100 projects that are already changing the face of education.
Over 1,000 innovations were identified through research, events and recommendations and then a shortlist were evaluated by HundrED’s academy, made up of educational experts, educators and students from 28 countries.
Projects were assessed on their innovativeness, impact and scalability. HundrED’s researchers focused on finding out whether innovations produced tangible results, whether they addressed a need in an new and meaningful way, and whether the idea could grow or be adapted to help others elsewhere in the world.
Saku Tuominen, CEO of HundrED, said: “Spreading innovations such as Children on the Edge’s community-led refugee education model across borders can be a gamechanger for education, worldwide. We will continue to encourage as many stakeholders as possible including schools, educators, administrators, students and organisations to get involved so that we can work towards a positive future.”
To share the K12 innovations, HundrED has created an online platform so that educators around the world can trial and review selected innovations using the resources for free. To explore the global innovations, please visit: www.hundred.org.
Find out more about the our work with Rohingya refugee children, and read about the the 100 2019 selected innovations at http://hundred.org/hundrED2019
"My grandchildren have a provider, who has stepped into their father’s shoes since he’s gone" - Irene finds hope for her grandchildren through small business loan.
Currently, the most popular type of venture from our loan scheme are vegetable businesses, with over a quarter of all loan participants starting up stalls. One of these business owners is Irene, who is 60 years old and a grandmother responsible for three orphaned children.
She used to live alone after her two children grew up and left to start their own families. She mainly survived on the support her son Godfrey provided, though once in a while she did casual work like laundry or helping in people’s fields to earn some extra income. Through this time, she always had an idea of starting up a vegetable business, but had limited funds which weren’t sufficient enough even for her basic needs.
Tragically, her son Godfrey died, and Irene took on his children, as their mother had divorced Godfrey and disappeared a few years before. At this time, Irene realised that she had not only had the responsibility of taking care of these children, but with her son gone, she was the only earner.
Despite her interest in starting up a vegetable business, she was still limited by a lack of capital. During this crisis she began to talk with Joyce, who had started her own business through the Children on the Edge education loan programme. She introduced Irene to the local Child Protection Team, who in turn introduced her to the loans officer.
After an assessment, Irene was was given a loan of 200,000 Ugandan shillings, which she used to start up the long wished for vegetable stall beside her house. Edwin Wanabe, Programme Director for Children on the Edge Africa said “Irene’s business is doing well. It is from this that she is able to provide for her grandchildren’s basic needs and education. She is very grateful for the great support given to her. She often expresses her joy by telling our loan’s officer how she has hope that, through the business, her grandchildren have a provider, who has stepped into their father’s shoes since he’s gone”.
Lydia is a member of Masese I Child Protection Team (CPT), who had a thriving banana (Matooke) business, which her family relied on. Sadly her situation took a turn for the worse, when her husband was involved in a serious accident which left him bedridden, leaving Lydia as the only earner.
For a time all her profits had to go towards his medical treatment, which suffocated the business and caused Lydia to begin to lose hope. Through talks with her fellow CPT members, our social worker and the loans officer, she was encouraged to apply for a loan to invest into her collapsing trade.
The loan soon reawakened her profits, enabling her to not only pay her husband’s treatment costs, but also take care of the household needs and pay school fees for her children.
Lydia said “I am extremely happy that amidst the challenges that befall me, I still picked up courage and invested the loan money in my struggling Matooke business, which was almost collapsing. This enabled me grow my business from buying two bunches to four, and I am really grateful because this has uplifted my household income”.