Since the success of our pilot education loans in Masese II, the Child Protection Teams we support in Uganda have been introducing the scheme into three new areas; Loco, Masese I and Masese III.
Just £20 can provide a small business loan for a struggling household in Uganda.
In each area, the most needy households are identified and invited to attend a series of training workshops. These include savings workshops, small business training sessions and opportunities to form self help groups.
The saving workshops have been newly introduced as the new area’s needs are so great. 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.
Small business training workshops give prospective owners the chance to learn about the principles of a successful business and how to use their new income in the best way in order to grown their trade further.
The self help groups are facilitated to allow people to work together, support each other and develop funds to help in difficult times. They all contribute to a health fund which protects members in times of sickness, and also a social fund which supports members in other potential troubles (like the loss of a relative). Over time, members re-pay the money lent to them so the fund is available for the next person.
The new communities have 20 loans currently running in each area. Each loan is worth about £20, has sparked a new business and changed the lives of each household. Many and various businesses are blossoming throughout each community including mat making, silver fish selling, cooking, charcoal selling, fruit and vegetable stalls and hut renovation.
Babra is our social worker at Children on the Edge Africa, she says “These loans can give people a new start. One lady had been trapped in prostitution for a long time. I talked with her regularly for over a year about how the loan scheme could help her start an new life, but she was reluctant. She didn’t believe she could do it, but she was so unhappy. This year she started out on the scheme. Already she has a successful business selling ground nuts and plastering people’s homes! She is free and is now able to send her three children to school. When she sees me, she throws her arms around me with happiness.”
This number of loans given in Masese III will double soon as many of the Karamajong people that live here have a natural talent for business and are responding particularly well to the scheme. This is especially good news here, as the community had become reliant on a charitable organisation that gave food handouts, when the charity left, people here had no income or means of feeding their children. The education loans are now giving them sustainable means to earn, feed their children and send them to school. Masese II is still running the education loan scheme and currently have 46 households starting up businesses.
It costs just £20 to provide a small business loan for a struggling household. The slideshow below shows some of the different businesses these loans have made possible. If you would like to donate £20 to start a new business and enable children to go to school, just click the button below.