Things looked exceedingly bleak for Miss Immaculate after her husband passed away.
“After the death of my husband, I had no source of income to bring up our 9 children.”
However, there was a way out, thanks to a local project supported by VC Volunteers.
As Miss Immaculate explains “It was when I joined the KADCOS Nyamba Credit Union that my life started to improve”.
“I took several loans to build seven rental rooms to generate income for the household. Every month I get income from the rental rooms. Now I also have a brick making business where I employ a manual worker, an engineer, two builders and one aide. As a result, I have been able to support the college education of my children, and bought a plot of land for my son”.
Miss Immaculate is one of a number of Ugandan women whose lives VC has been able to improve, through its project support work and the dedicated services of VC volunteer Rita Formolo, working with the Caritas Kampala Cooperatives Project. The project aims to reduce poverty by empowering local communities to establish cooperatives; providing an alternative source of income from the traditional local businesses.
The project works to empower the community, especially women and youth, with knowledge and skills in financial management and business development skills through training. This ensures that such beneficiaries are able to access relevant information and skills to enable them to start small businesses, access loans and save for the future. Through the targeting of women, evidence has shown that they are more likely to use excess income on the education, healthcare and nutritional needs of their children, bringing greater improvements to whole families.
But it’s not just women that are the direct beneficiaries, as shown by the experience of William Kakangaa, another member of the Credit Union, who explained
“Initially, I took three loans to renovate the family house for renting. Additionally, two loans were used to buy two vehicles to initiate a business of transporting construction material. I later engaged in two additional businesses; fabricating bricks and a 35 acre banana plantation. In total, these investments have been generating ten permanent jobs for the family and community members. I have been able to send all my children to the university; three already graduated and two yet to graduate”.
These stories are typical of the long-term sustainable development initiatives that VC seeks out for our volunteers. In this case, VC Volunteer Rita Formolo assists the Caritas Kampala (CK) Co-operatives office in a number of areas, but particularly in mentoring and training of Credit Union local staff. Through Rita’s work, financial literacy amongst the local community is improved. This process ensures sustainability by ensuring that local responsibility for the project is increased and relevant skills and knowledge are transferred to local staff. The project numbers over 2,000 direct beneficiaries every year, with over 17,000 indirect beneficiaries.
If you would like to explore whether volunteering for humanitarian and sustainable development projects is for you, check out www.vcvolunteers.ie or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org