Here’s the second instalment of our two-part series ‘The A-Team’. We’ve introduced you to Ivan and Fred, and this week it’s time to hear from the girls; two Graces! We hope you enjoy learning about their projects, what makes them tick, and what they get passionate about.
“Project: Vulnerable Households. The aim of the project is to improve the living standards of vulnerable households (mainly widows and orphans) in Butaleja District through supporting community groups by offering practical advice and extensive agricultural support to provide income generating activities for families. Members are then able to sell around 75% of the produce yielded from these agricultural programs (whilst also keeping around 25% for home consumption). The money gained from the sales is shared and members are encouraged to pay into savings in their group accounts.
It’s exciting working with these groups because they do work collectively, willingly and are easily driven towards what they want to achieve. Recently a few of the members from each group were invited to participate in a briquette-making workshop and they turned up in large numbers and engaged in the work together. Furthermore, they ranged greatly in age and even the very elderly ladies were getting stuck-in and learning new skills; this was very exciting. The women from the first workshop then went on to visit other vulnerable groups and train them in some of these activities reflecting a real unity among them.
Working together as a group exposes the women to many new ideas like the training offered to them by our organisation. For instance these groups were trained in the basics of saving according to the recommended standards by the VSLA, the production of briquettes, growing vegetable, keeping bees and making smokeless stoves just to name a few. All these activities help the group members to work together with hopes of earning a living through increased incomes that would be generated from their sales.”
“Project: Scholarship Program. The objective of this project is to see that vulnerable students get access to education in order to be able to reach the goal of being independent in the future. It involves selecting vulnerable students for training in vocational studies such as carpentry, electrical instillation and design and decoration. We then support them through this process by paying the fees required by certain tertiary institutions and making regular check-ups in school and at home to assess the student’s progress and enforce effective monitoring and evaluations of their development. We also organise regular meetings with the stakeholders and beneficiaries in order to review individual progress.
It’s an important program as it helps to increase the retention of children in school, improved the life style of selected students, and increases the capacity of these students to be independent whilst strengthening a sense of effective management in their lives. Furthermore it promotes education within community.
A recent highlight would have to be the second term visitation as it really confirmed that the students can now see a future ahead and believe in what they are doing. They are working hard to get the basic education given. They are gaining great skills and competencies that will help them towards being independent in the future.”
It’s always a pleasure to catch up with our wonderful team members and always so encouraging to hear, first hand, about the exciting projects being implemented every day in Busolwe. We are so grateful for all their hard work, and for all the other people who contribute to making these projects a reality. If you would also like to be part of this work, please go to alittlebitofhope.org/give to find out more.
By Nolly Molton