Mission to Empower Ugandan Women to Overcome Poverty
Outreach Uganda’s mission is to help empower Ugandan women in our three beader groups to improve all aspects of their lives so that they can overcome poverty. Sustainable income-generation projects are a key focus of these efforts to help empower Ugandan women to overcome poverty.
OU helps market the women’s fair trade crafts here in the U.S. The women are encouraged to save up money from these bead and craft sales so they can use these monies to start group or individual businesses which they can do all year long in Uganda. Micro-credit loans from their group’s internal revolving loan fund provides additional help for the ladies to either start businesses or further expand their existing businesses to a level that will help them overcome poverty. Studies show that income-generation is the most effective tool that we can use to help empower Ugandan women.
Income Generation: the Key to Empower Ugandan Women to Overcome Poverty
Both of our Jinja and Kitgum Uganda women’s groups are very excited about their income-generation efforts. Both groups are undertaking group as well as individual projects initially using monies they have earned from their beading activities. The Pittek individual beaders have many diverse businesses such as local neighborhood grocery kiosks, individual poultry businesses, selling posho and other food items, sewing school uniforms, and selling dried moon fish. Our Kitgum women’s group is concentrating its efforts on a group agricultural project involving raising over 20 acres of cash crops including simsim (sesame seeds), beans, sorghum and millet among others. Read moe about our Ugandan women’s stories.
Our third women’s group in Agwata, Uganda is acquiring some group chickens and goats, and have also begun both group and cluster agricultural activities. Because Agwata is a rural village, and the beaders are living on their ancestral lands, their group and individual income-generation activities are primarily focused on agricultural-related endeavors such as beekeeping and tilling additional acreage so that they can grow cash crops over and above providing food for their families.
Entrepreneurship and Business Training Helps Our Ugandan Women Succeed in Their Income-Generation Projects
Jobs are very scarce in Uganda, particularly for poor people with no connections and little or no formal education. It is difficult for us in developed countries to understand the concept of “no work”, and what it means to sit on the curb of the main street in your town with your sewing machine all day (all 12 hours of the day) hoping for a customer or two to use your services. That would be just enough money to feed your family that day. So to survive and have any chance at overcoming poverty, you must learn to create your own “work”. This gives the poor person a lot more potential than begging or being a “shop girl” in someone else’s retail shop or business (if you are lucky enough to find such work) for $1 per day.
Because of this, Outreach Uganda’s training and education programs for the Ugandan women we work with focus on teaching them entreprenurship, business and leadership skills. This helps develop the women into capable business women who can manage their own successful businesses. We are always excited to see more Ugandan women graduating from our year long women’s business training program. We have now had three classes graduate and a fourth business class is starting in mid-2015. Donate now to help one of our beaders open or expand her business, or to help her save down payment money for a new home as part of our Home Ownership Program for our Jinja women entrempreneurs.
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