Uganda’s Kasasa community gets savings and credit cooperative support
Members of the Ugandan Kasasa community are benefiting from a savings and credit cooperative support to improve their livelihoods.
The project by the InteRoots Initiative, a Denver, United States-based nonprofit organization with supporters from around the globe, has provided nearly $500,000 in unrestricted funding to the community for the project.
The savings and credit cooperative has over 120 accounts already opened, with signals more local community members are eager to take part.
The Tat Sat Community Academy (TaSCA), a school in Kasasa will also support 500 students once it opens in January 2023.
In addition to the school, TaSCA will also make room for cultural support, and an active maize mill for local farmers.
The group is also rolling out another program called the Graduate Enterprise Fund (GEF), which will allow students, upon graduation, to submit a plan for set-aside funds for purposes that will further their goals. This may include continuing their education or starting a business.
A community board, which has been formed to oversee the project, must approve the plan, and graduates will receive financial support for around one to two years, providing economic stability beyond graduation.
Agnes Namayega, a TaSCA community board member, says women and children have not been given an equal chance for financial progress and development in the past.
“Given the fact that the community is paternalistic, the GEF and SACCO for students [means] a shift in the current perceptions about the women in our community to being equally productive members, and providing for an increased and balanced community,” she said.
Namayega added that “Since the beginning of TaSCA, I have focused on this opportunity for women and children in the three pillars of our project – women – women – women!”
“This nimble, community-led structure has allowed for flexibility in a time of crisis so that the project has persisted despite challenges,” said Frank Scott, executive director of the InteRoots Initiative.
Scott added that “The community has developed and embraced the project, and the structures created have also made forums for the community to discuss ways to provide support to each other during times of crisis like the pandemic.”