As a development organization, we do not believe in handouts but rather we focus more on hand ups. We prefer to work alongside the women or other community members in bringing about both individual and community development.
The Canlalonindo group is one of the women’s CMMF groups found in one of the villages in Nebbi district under the SFEA – WENIPS partnership. The group started in 2011 with 30 members. Generally the poverty level in the area was very high. Members were worried they would even fail to save the weekly required UGX 500. However, through various trainings by WENIPS staff, they persisted through the months and successfully completed their first cycle. Upon completion of the cycle and holding the first share out, their perspective became even more positive. Many of them had never owned in a chunk, UGX 200,000, but at the share out some of them had accumulated savings worth 500,000. This was very exciting for the members.
Many of them had never owned in a chunk, UGX 200,000, but at the share out some of them had accumulated savings worth 500,000.
As they progressed into the next cycles, they kept on increasing their share value. Currently it’s at UGX 1,500 and members can buy a maximum of 5 shares each sitting. They meet on a weekly basis to save and those that have needs can also borrow from the fund collected at an agreed interest. The interest earned on the loans is what they share among themselves at the end of each cycle.
One of the most inspiring things about this group is that they have grasped their role in community development. This group is taking communal responsibility for their village. After a long struggle with their bad road, they managed to mobilize community members and their leaders to have it fixed.
In 2015, after realizing that their village had many young families and little children who were loitering around, they decided to contribute an extra fund to start an Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre for these children within the community. The children are aged between 2 to 6 years and they could not walk the long distance to Nebbi town where the nearest kindergarten is. Most of all, some the parents couldn’t afford the school fees. Each group member now contributes UGX 5000 per month towards operation costs of the center. This fund has helped to employ two professional teachers. Parents are also required to pay a subsidized fee of UGX 10,000 per term which is utilized in feeding the children and purchasing learning materials.
Many of the locals now talk of how relieved they are that they have an accessible children center which can help sharpen the brains of the young ones.
This is what we call community transformation.