SOCIO-ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT THROUGH VSLA COMPONENT

RIDE-AFRICA has a trained  24 CBTs (community Based Trainers) and formed 119 VSLAs(Village Savings Loan Association) groups with 1050 (845F&205M) members Ntoroko, Kyenjojo, Kabarole and Bunyangabu. Over 98% of the VSLA group members have started small businesses where they earn an income which has enabled them to continue saving and those that had not yet established businesses after sharing out, their savings were used to establish one that suit within their local setting. This was also as result of the knowledge and skills attained during the entrepreneurship training that was conducted among the group members

Youth VSLAs have continued to grow with some completing cash revolving cycle and restarting while enabling youth exhibit financial management skills such as appropriate planning, finance discipline and budgeting skills. Ntoroko district is one example facing challenges of accessing finance institutions because of its remoteness. The savings initiatives through VSLA’s have supported some youth to start buying land from the simple loans from these groups. In one of the field monitoring engagement, Kabagonza Getrude  observed: “…..after opening an account with VSLA, I can have restful sleep because every time, I lived in fear of thieves breaking into my house and take away my money or harming me because nearly all my neighbors knew that I am making some good money these days”.

 

The VSLA groups also offer peer to peer learning and training to other upcoming VSLA groups in the community. For example, Butogo Kwelungania a prominent Youth in Action VSLA group in Ntoroko district has always been hired by other upcoming VSLAs to offer support in VSLA methodology and processes of how to manage and ensure a functional local community VSLA. They train other young ones the mode of saving, how to calculate profits, shares and interest sharing/rationing at the end of every cycle. The members hired train at a fee of 200,000 Uganda shillings (about USD 55) as agreed by the members. Part of this fee goes back to the group’s VSLA as part of its investment contribution. Asaba Majidu, one of the members currently owns one of the main food stalls (locally called super market) in their trading centers from a loan he secured from the VSLA.

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