11 Dec

In the heart of Koboko Municipality, the Faith Savings Group stands as a testament to the transformative power of economic empowerment. This inspirational story unfolds against the backdrop of the Cities Alliance-funded project "Enhancing Community Resilience Through Gender Responsiveness, Economic Empowerment for Psycho-Social Wellbeing of Refugees and Host Communities, and Migrants."

Spearheaded by the South Sudanese Refugee Association (SSURA), in collaboration with the financial support of Cities Alliance and the Migration Global Programme, the Faith Savings Group has emerged as a beacon of hope and success.

Incorporated into the Cities Alliance project earlier this year, Faith Savings Group embarked on a journey of financial literacy and economic empowerment. Recognized as a key and compliant group, the Faith Savings Group received a substantial boost of 3 million Ugandan shillings from Equity Bank, a consortium member of the Cities Alliance project.

With the initial injection of 3 million Ugx, the Faith Savings Group has burgeoned into a financially empowered collective of 22 members. The group's remarkable success is evident in their impressive savings of 18,623,000 Ugx, equivalent to 3321 stars, showcasing their commitment to financial resilience. 

Individual Success Stories:

The Story of the Impact of Mrs. Pita Ester, A Visionary Food Vendor:

As a food vendor in Koboko's main market, Mrs. Pita Ester's savings with the group amounted to an impressive 1.3 million shillings. Overjoyed at the prospect of expanding her business, Mrs. Pita is determined to reach a distant market and fulfill her dreams. 

"This money meant a lot to me. I now want to increase my sales and go to distant markets like Busia among other border markets within Koboko." - Mrs. Pita Ester

Mrs. Pita Ester With Smiles Receiving an Envelope of Her One-Year Savings of 1.3M

Gift Emmanuel, A Boda Boda Rider and Gospel Singer:

Gift Emmanuel, a Boda Boda rider and one of the few male members of the group, received 1.2 million Ugx from the cash-out. Overwhelmed with joy, Gift expressed his intention to return to school, highlighting the group's support, honesty, and clear accountability.

"The three million was a game-changer. It allowed us to save more, and now I can pursue my education and invest in my future." Gift, Emmanuel 

Mr. Gift Emmanuel, A Boda Boda Rider Saver, Shows Off His Received Cash Amount In The Envelope.

Dawa Fatuma, Empowering a Fish Monger:

Dawa Fatuma, a fish monger at Koboko main market, walked away with 1.2 million shillings. This financial boost has fueled her determination to invest more in her fishmonger business. 

Mrs. Dawa Fatuma, Full Of Smiles 

Jocelyne Junior: Resilience in Cake and Gnuts Sales:

Jocelyne Junior, a cake and toasted gnut seller, received 910,000 Ugx. Her savings not only enable her to pay her children's fees but also invest in other ventures, reducing the burden on her husband.

"The savings now allow me to support my husband, offset school fees, and provide basic needs for our children." Jocelyne Junior

Jocelyne Junior, Walks Past after receiving her cash out

The Faith Savings Group has become a pivotal Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) that has transformed its members into valuable contributors to the community. Mrs. Ayon Mary, the group's vice chairperson, attributes the success to good leadership and member commitment. She encourages new members to join and reap the benefits.

"The three million seed capitals given as a revolving fund has changed our lives. The group members are now smiling with envelopes, and everyone is getting 300,000 Ugx." - Mrs. Ayon Mary

Mrs Ayon Mary

Acknowledging the exemplary savings culture of the Faith Savings Group, Mr. Peter Drilega of Koboko Civil Society Network (Kocisnet) commends the group's commitment and encourages more women to join similar groups.

He emphasizes problem-solving within the community and extends the invitation for men to participate."Women should be in such groups and do business. We, through our office, intend to support the Faith Women Group and encourage men to join these groups." - Mr. Peter Drilega

As the Faith Savings Group celebrates its annual cash-out function, the success stories of Mrs. Pita, Gift, Dawa, and Jocelyne echo the transformative impact of economic empowerment. SSURA's Cities Alliance-funded project has successfully empowered over 20 groups, disbursing over 80 million Ugx as revolving funds. 

The Faith Savings Group, with its outstanding achievements, stands as a beacon of hope, proving that collaborative efforts can bring about lasting change and uplift communities.

BY: Aldo ADOMATI, Communications, https://www.ssura-ug.org/
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