I’m surely busy! The season has changed from rainy to dry and for the next 2 months I’ll be working in the shade as the sun can be really ruthless. On the savings group side, we’re focusing this month on delivering the first two out of four refreshment trainings on micro-savings to our existing groups and start to form a new group by the end of the January following needs assessment. On the income generating activity side, Busabulo A Saving Group is progressing nicely upon finishing training and we’ll be delivering the full training for the second group, Buwebele, next week.
Income generating activity, abbreviated to IGA, covers initiatives as diverse as cooperative undertakings, jobs creation, tailoring circles, youth training groups and small business promotion. The initiatives are aimed to improve economic aspects of people’s lives through developing new skills. In third world countries people are pushed to find new way of generating income as regular wage-earning jobs are hard to find. To millions of people, activities like breeding chicken, selling vegetables at the market, or producing shawls are the income-generating activity which ensures the household its most essential cash income.
It’s because of this importance, I focus heavily on training and execution of the right IGAs for our communities. As mentioned already the process can be challenging and has a lot of moving parts: from the right training, application of the knowledge to business plan writing to assessment of the market, seeking out agriculture experts for advise and finally execution. I also put an emphasis on the sustainability of IGAs – only when community members have saved a significant amount of capital, we start helping them to develop the micro-enterprise plan. This ensures that the group inputs their own funds into the business which increases the sense of responsibility and accountability. By using this bottom down approach and encouragement to invest their own means into it, I am confident we can not only succeed in Bulambuli but also in Africa in lifting it out of poverty.
Below a few shots from this month: lunch out with Joyce – our new volunteer, new savings group Tubana on the top right and delivering the refreshment training bottom right.