Our new volunteer in Uganda, Laëtitia, is shown in the picture delivering kick-off boxes to new VSLA groups!
Here she explains us what the kick-off boxes are and tells us about her experience with the new VSLA groups:
“Regarding the VSLA project (Villages Savings and Loans Associations), the women’s groups get the kick-off package which is a box with a calculator, pens, stamp, passbooks for members, financial records book etc, after having been trained by a local volunteer (someone from the village who knows the VSLA method) which explained to them the principle, the method, the rules, and organizes the group’s board election (chairperson, secretary, treasury, key keepers). Once the group is constituted, we go with Juliet/Mr Gibu to deliver the kick-off package and inaugurate the newly formed group! It is a big moment, a ceremony! They pray, thank the volunteers, Seeds, sing, dance etc.
After that, we visit the groups 7 times for different trainings: record keeping, first loans given out, etc.
The VSLA groups meet once a week to put money in the box (receiving shares in exchange) and take on loans. This weekly meeting can last up to 3 hours, it is also a social meeting for the women: they gather, chat, etc.. I attended several meetings in Ndiba village, the women are autonomous and perform well the VSLA method!
Then, we go for evaluation: we ask the women what they did with the loans to measure the impact of the VSLA . (Usually they pay school fees, buy animals, build a house).
As of today, we delivered 65 boxes all around Sironko District so you can say that it benefits up to 2,340 people, most of them are women but lately some youth and men have joined the VSLA groups.
The demand for VSLA kick-off packages is growing very quickly as the women spread the word and tell others how it has impacted and changed their lifes!”
Here you can watch a short video of a group receiving a kick-off package.
Thank you Laëtitia for you help and we look forward to hearing more about your experience in Uganda when you come back in October!