With Women Kisoboka seeks to promote gender parity through women’s economic empowerment to enable marginalized women to be impactful agents of change and leadership in their community. In doing so, we work with marginalized women living in remote villages and urban slums to tackle the many challenges of extreme poverty and to tap into their confidence and ability to empower themselves, their families and their community. Interest free small loans are provided to support their livelihoods, emergency needs, school fees for their children and health care for their family, that too serves as a bridge for the most marginalized to benefit socially and economically from financial inclusion. Building upon economic empowerment, With Women Kisoboka works with the strategic focus of human-centered, systems change to increase the number and diversity of secure, quality, well-paying income earning opportunities for the women of each of our local partners that too fulfills the needs of their respective communities.
With Women Kisoboka began in 2016 as a as the first program in Africa for the nonprofit Our Biswas. As of November 2019, we established ourselves as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Uganda and a U.S. non-profit under the name, With Women Kisoboka, meaning With Women It is Possible. In the spring of 2019, we began down the path of community systems change by holding workshops to develop a shared understanding of the women’s interests and current capabilities along with the community challenges and opportunities as expressed by the local authorities. Additionally, the CDOs in the Nakaseke; Kisinga sub-County, Kasese District; Kampala Lubaga Division, and Kyaninga are working with us to identify local, relevant CBOs and NGOs, and we are in communication with more than half dozen international NGOs who support trainings, market connections and potential funding.
Likewise, ACCESS, a CBO in Uganda of the Nakaseke district, and a local partner has not only established an outreach system working with Village Health Teams (VHTs) and other partners to structure income generation projects for OVCs and their families, they also implement a vocational training program for young girls, ages 18-24, in livelihood skills including hair dressing and tailoring. And ARKCCAO, a Uganda NGO and also a local partner, has more than 300 women of the in the Kabarole, Kibale and Natoroko districts who they work with to empower and inform so to live in a healthy and improved environment.
At the helm of With Women Kisoboka are two women who have benefitted from nano finance and who have grown and, are continuing to develop, in their leadership. Nalakwago Milly and Nakayiza Aminah, as Executive Director and Program Director respectively of the NGO,
April Stone, formerly the Uganda Lead of Our Biswas, is Founder and President of the US nonprofit With Women Kisoboka. The concept of nano finance was developed by Ranu Mahanti, the founder and President of Our Biswas, as an approach in which women help women through interest-free loans. Nano finance is not microfinance, but rather it is a simple, locally managed system that nurtures trust, mutual support, collaboration and growth, and is ripe to reach millions.
Since inception, With Women Kisoboka has implemented monitoring and evaluation for the purpose of continuous improvement and to gather data to demonstrate impact. We currently have four years of data using the Poverty Probability Index (PPI), which has revealed a remarkable 5-10% annual reduction in poverty likelihood for the women of our local partner communities. We also have added indicators to the PPI, reflecting changes in earned income, metrics relevant to financial inclusion, and baseline data for 2020 projects within the energy sector. Additionally, we assess through quarterly reporting, tri-annual visits the management team of With Women Kisoboka (UG), monthly distributions and collections of loans by local partner program coordinators (proving an exceptionally low delinquency rates attributed to the sense of community fostered), as well as continual communications via What’s App groups.
In country, With Women Kisoboka nurture a community of trust in which women grow to contributors and often leaders in their respective communities.