Training in savings have been given to the agricultural groups supported by CRESS to enable them to become self-sufficient, funding seeds and tools for the coming years. Thanks to the support of the Chalke Valley Lent project, CRESS was able to fund 26 out of 41 savings groups. all in refugee camps in Uganda.
The savings groups each have around 20 people in them and with each individual’s household supporting about 15 people the impact of the groups is being felt by over 1,014 people throughout the refugee communities. 193 businesses have been started and a total of 461 businesses supported with the funds that have been saved, which will in turn raise money to help families and communities grow.
Joyce is 29 years old and married with three children. She lives in Imvepi refugee camp – Arua district. She said, she ran a restaurant business in South Sudan before the war broke out. She lost everything in the war.
While in the camp, she had nobody to offer her money for business until she heard about the CRESS facilitated Savings Groups.
She said the saving program has benefited her and the family in the following ways:
- She was able to learn ways of generating money to be saved in the group.
- Through the help of the group, she was able to borrow money from the group and invested the 80,000/= [£9] for Pancakes, tomatoes and groundnut-paste business.
- She is now able to buy food for the family.
- She is now making about 150,000/= [£33] profit in her business per week.
- According to her she is now able to afford buying clothes.
In the future:
“I plan to open a restaurant next year and construct a semi-permanent house made out of iron sheet and burnt bricks”
Sam Ladu is a South Sudanese Refugee living in Northern Uganda, Yumbe district. Sam is 24 years old and dropped out from secondary school due to lack of support from his parents.
He started business in 2016 in order to provide for his family a financial support especially paying kids in school, medication, clothing and feeding. At the time his business was prospering, the conflicts emerged in South Sudan and all his things were looted by unknown people and so he ran to Uganda with nearly nothing. He lost his business, livestock, food, buildings and clothing.
In 2019 he joined a savings group called “Ngun lo tindu” (God’s gift). He borrowed a loan of 400,000/=. He used 90,000/= for renting a shop and 60,000/= for paying his children in school and 250,000/= for adding more stock into his business. He sells mixed goods in the local market of Kilaji-Mijale Zone.
Sam said, he owes CRESS and the team working with them here so much appreciation.Through this unique and rewarding program I am able to unbelievably revive my business. He added,
“I have now established a business of my dream where, am able to make a minimum of 200,000/= shillings a week”.
How CRESS Facilitates Savings Groups
Each saving group is given a start-up kit. Each kit includes savings box, padlocks and log books for a group of 20.
There is a local trained savings group facilitator who visits to teach, encourage and advise the groups. Each facilitator looks after three groups and receive a very small monthly remuneration. To enable these facilitators CRESS has been able to donate bicycles to them so that it is easier to get between groups.
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