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No room for poverty, -steps by a self help group in Kyegegwa

No room for poverty, -steps by a self help group in Kyegegwa

Fifteen people; five men and 10 women, are transforming Iringa C village in Rwampara Sub County, Kyegegwa district, - South Western Uganda. Two years ago, they formed a group that benefitted from a Village Revolving Fund(VRF) enterprise, a livelihood aspect of the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP). These people lived in one of the most degraded areas affected by population pressure. They suffered most from poverty. The refugee influx had made resources not enough for them. They needed support, which came through DRDIP.

To-date, these members control ‘the economy’ of Iringa C village. They supply milk. They own individual household businesses. They upgraded from grass thatched, to permanently built houses for their families. Their children are settled in school. They have embraced group savings and investments after being trained on financial literacy. The group is noticeable and respected both at Sub County and District for making quick, steady, unstoppable economic progress.

“These people have become points of reference for other community members here”, notes, Joseph Alinde, the DRDIP Community Facilitator based in Iringa.

Iringa C Cattle Keepers Self Help Group(SHG) received UGX 13,785000/= twice from a village revolving fund established by DRDIP in Iringa C village. The SHG used the fund to start their businesses and empower individuals at households. With effective repayment within every six months, the group is also ensuring constant growth of the UGX 55 million VRF by paying back with interest worth UGX 1,378,500 within a one-year span.

The SHG ensured that individual members make discrete treads to redefine their social economic status. There are very powerful stories told by each group member. From acquisition of tangible assets, establishment of daily income bases for the group etc., this group has certainly established unique plans to carefully extricate poverty at household levels in Iringa village and they are inspiring other community members to walk in their footmarks.  

Currently the group owns 17 cattle (14 cows, 3 bulls). The cows produce 40 liters of milk per day which is sold within the community at a cost of UGX1,000 per liter or, a UGX 40,000/= per day earning from milk sales alone. The group also trades in goats and currently boasts of over 30 goats. Banana trading is another exploit the group uses to earn money. They buy banana bunches in large quantity from community members and export to Kampala at a profit.

“Despite working for the group investments, the members also run individual businesses to support their families in various ways”, says, Annet Tusingwire the group chairperson.

As for Robinah Kabayaga, all her seven children are now in school. She saves a minimum of UGX7,000 per week and has bought five goats. Kabayaga, 39 started by getting a group loan worth UGX300,000 which she put in matoke trading and realized up to 12million shillings. Her husband Adolf Balinda is grateful because Kabayaga supported the construction of their four roomed family house, enabling the family to graduate from a grass thatched hut. “I plan to buy cows so that I can deal in milk to get daily income to take care of my family”, says Kabayaga.

Ronald Kandole another group member says the group enabled him construct a family house, latrine and gain knowledge on financial literacy. “Apart from the tangible things that you see here, I am so grateful for the knowledge gained through trainings of DRDIP”, Kandole reveals.

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