Uganda – Kyotera Project First Quarter Update
A key part of how we deliver our Village Savings and Loans (VSL) projects is to ensure they are delivered with absolute transparency and monitored closely. Some people ask us why we do this, the truth is that we could not imagine delivering our projects any other way.
For anyone who has encouraged us with our work and made any donation to the charity we want to be able to say with clarity and certainty how the money is being used on our Village Savings and Loans projects and how it is benefitting individuals, families and whole communities.
Our local trainers / field agents play a key role in setting up the VSL Groups and monitoring them to ensure they operate efficiently as a group. Part of the role of our field agent is to update the Management Information Platform with the savings and loans data from the group and also to produce detailed quarterly reports for This Is EPIC. These reports go into detail about the VSL groups, their performance and progress, challenges, lessons learnt, success stories and pictures of the groups activity.
In February, we received our first quarter report for our Village Savings and Loans project in the Kyotera region of Uganda, our project was successfully started in November 2014. The region was selected primarily due to its remote location and a very high level poverty. The Kyotera region also has a high HIV prevalence rate of 12%, which is above average for Uganda.
In the first 12 months of this project we will be implementing 20 Village Savings and Loans groups. At the end of the first quarter our team have mobilised 3 Village Savings and Loans groups, which is a fantastic achievement and means we are well on course to have 20 groups by November 2015 in the Kyotera region.
In the first 3 months of the groups a total of 8 loans have been issued to members and across the groups a combined total of 1,124,000 UGX (approx. £255) has been saved so far by members. This demonstrates that people are very keen to save and borrow to improve their livelihoods.
Our team have been discussing the benefits so far with the group members:
1. “Solidarity, the approach helps members to build social capital among themselves”
2. “The VSLA methodology is very transparent. It is handled by the members themselves thus leaving no chance of being cheated by outsiders.”
3. “It promotes a culture of savings accumulation over time.”
4. “Members who are already in business get loans from the groups and improve on the existing businesses. This increases the success levels of businesses.”
5. “The weekly meetings help members to share ideas which are useful in shaping their life skills and business skills.”
6. “Leadership skills. Members, especially women, gain confidence and acquire leadership skills as they lead the groups.”
7.”Members of the groups are able to access loans without any form of physical collateral.”
The first quarter report also included details of the challenges faced by our team in Uganda. Their main challenge has been meeting the demand for our savings and loans groups. See the statement below from our Program Manager in Uganda:
“Due to its associated benefits, the demand for Village Savings and Loans groups is so high that even people beyond our catchment area are calling upon us to reach them although capacity is at the moment limited.”
We are extremely pleased with how our project in Uganda is progressing, in particular with the performance of the first 3 groups. We are on track to increase the number of groups in line with our plan of a further 5 groups during Feb-Apr, another 7 during May-Jul and another 5 during Aug-Oct.
Please see some pictures below from our Uganda VSL groups.
Thank you for your support of This Is EPIC, we are so encouraged with the report on our Uganda project and we hope you are too. We would love to meet more of the demand for our groups, if you would like to donate to our Uganda project please click here to support our projects.