Mbabazi, The Industrious Woman

Mbabazi Tryphonia is 34 years old and one of the beneficiaries from the SFEA and COVOID partnership in Rubirizi district.

We met Mbabazi in Kyamuhunga village in western Uganda at her grocery shop, one of the many ventures she has invested in. She is one of the pioneers of the Community Managed Microfinance groups in the region and she attributes most of her success to the CMMF methodology. Her husband abandoned her but this has not stopped her from pursuing her dreams and raising her child single handily.

Mbabazi with Son

Mbabazi with Son

Mbabazi has been a part of the CMMF group for three years now. Earlier, she says she didn’t have knowledge of saving despite the small earnings they would get from tea and crop farming. When she joined the CMMF group in 2011, her eyes were opened. This was after a vigorous sensitisation drive organised by one of our development partners in Rubirizi district, COVOID.

At the time she joined, she had no stable source of income that would enable her to save regularly. So she thought hard and remembered that there were some coffee beans in the village that she could sell. That’s exactly what she did. She raised UGX 8000 part of which she used to start the saving and the other part to buy material for knitting so she could start making different products to increase her income.

After months of hard work and diligence in saving, Mbabazi started out a small retail shop and stall from her first loan of UGX 200,000. Part of it she used for rent and the other to buy products to sell in the shop. Mbabazi is a very innovative woman; her stall now has a number of items ranging from mats to household groceries.Her shop is strategically located along the Rubirizi – Kasese high way where she easily taps into the highway shopping tradition of  most travellers.

Recently, a local tea factory has contracted her to supply foodstuffs to their members and she is paid a lump sum at the end of the month. “This is a sure deal that I get to sell my items at a good rate,” she shared. She also prepares food for the top management of the tea factory.

Tryphonia in her shop

Mbabazi in her grocery shop

There are many women in the village that have developed through the CMMF but Mbabazi still stands out. She mobilised 5 of her group members to start some group investments to enable them boost their earnings further. At the moment they have invested in pig rearing for commercial purposes. They started out with 3 piglets and now they have 16 pigs in total. They hope that with income from these piglets, they will be able to invest in bigger projects to develop their community.

Today, Mbabazi is empowered, a role model to many women and a resource to many communities that call on her to train them in the CMMF model. She is educating her child in one of the best schools around. She hopes to enrol for a teaching course so she can become a qualified primary school teacher.

In five years she hopes to have built her own house and premises for her grocery shop premises so she can stop renting. Will she fulfill this? Let’s watch the space…Tryphonia at her shop selling