Businesses Transforming the Lives of Women and their Communities
[Image left] WWK’s industrious Program Director, Aminah Nakayiza, not only is on the management team of the organization, but too operates a tailoring business, and during the summer of 2019, she built a homestead mushroom farm because she learned that women in the program were interest in urban farming and wanted to practice the work so to train others. In Aminah’s words, “I began constructing the greenhouse locally as you can see. The structure is made of eucalypus and papyrus that I buy at the market. Then I take cotton seek cake, and boil it to kill all the germs that may be there. The cotton is then left to dry for a few days. After picking the fertilizers and mushroom seeds from the farm stores in town, I mix, either using a spade or my hands, as the seeds, fertilizer and cotton need to be thoroughly combined. Once mixed, I pack into paper or paraffin bags. These small quantities is what we call a mushroom garden.” To see Aminah’s garden, please click here.[Image right] is Kembabazi Dianah of our local partner, Kisoboka Nano Initiative, in the urban settlement of Busega, Kampala District. Dianah started her business by selling vegetables like eggplants, cabbages, tomatoes, and onions. Within the year, she managed to open up an account at the local bank and started saving the little profits she brings in from her business. She has since used these saving to enlarge her shop to include fress foods like matoke (cooked bananas), fries chapattis and she also sells tea. Her business is doing well.
[Image left] Because of the success of the butunda or passion fruit farming collaborative with women of our local partner ARKCCAO, with all individual members learning the skills of growing passion fruit and earning good profits, the individual members have now expanded to farm their own individual gardens, making significantly increased profits to feed, clothe and school their children as well as invest in their growing businesses. [Left to right] Here are Mbabazi Janet, Tindimubona Winni, Kobugabe Silvia, Habasa Lidia, and Muhimbise Beatrace, all originally members of the passion fruit farming collaborative and members of our local partner in the Kabarole District in the western region of Uganda, the Albertine Rift and Kyaninga Community Conservation and Area Organization (ARKCCAO).[Image right] Kabadoka Roset is with Program Director, Nakayiza Aminah in her tailoring shop. A group of tailors share this shop and it is now doing very well as you can see with the store filled with new clothes.
[Image left] The 11-member cocoa farming group is growing in their ability to raise profits following each member contributing to renting a cocoa plantation. They hold group meetings, plan for their business and they are empowered by their success. The new tarps for drying the cocao beans have helped the process be more efficient and sanitary. Investing their profits into the business, the women are planning to have a store to further expand their market.[Image right] The book-making project of our local partner Bliss Feme is in full gear. Schools in the community and beyond have begun placing their orders. The women of this social enterprise are planning to produce 10,000 books this year alone.
The demand for books is high and the Sub County leadership said they will look for market for the women if they produce in big numbers. The bookmaking project is a help to the community and is thus improving Bliss Feme’s relationship with the Kisinga Subcounty local leadership.
Opportunities Shifting the Mindset of Marginalized Women
Nalubega Anthony began with program by selling used clothes and makes cassava pastry for schools in the Busega community. Today, she has expanded her business into tailoring and has greatly increased her profits.
In the words of Mpirirwe Juliet, “I am a mother of 3 children and I am also member of the Kisoboka Nano Initiative. I joined the program in June 2018. At the time, I was engaged in sifting millet flour, the profits were low. After receiving the small interest-free capital of nano finance, guidance of the program coordinators, and support of the women in the program, I began rearing ducks and hens which have changed my earning because I get eggs from hens and ducks. I can also get good profits from selling off the poultry.”
When Spelanza Kabwongera joined the WWK group of our local partner ARKCCOA she began pig rearing. She was most excited last spring when her pig gave birth to 8 piglets, which she looked after for 5 months. She then sold each one for a good profit (35,000 UGX or about $10), which helped her pay for her daughter’s cancer treatments, as well as food, clothes and school fees for all her children.
Here is Hope Grace on the right. In her own words, “My saloon is growing on a high speed, I not only rent this room, but have doubled my income. Also five additional women have graduated with skills in hair dressing through my salon. I most appreciate the work of With Women Kisoboka!”
Meet Nabwami Dinah, a member of our newest partner African Community Center for Social-Sustainability (ACCESS). In Dinah’s words, “I am a mother of four children. Right now, I stay with my 2 little children, the others are married after dropping out of school because we could not pay. I lost the daddy of my children in 2002, and since have been a single mom. I have tried, tooth and nail, to ensure that I educate my children but, in vain because I had to pay for house rent, home basic care and meet all the school dues. ACCESS partnering with With Women Kisoboka was a blessing to me because the chance granted. I was given capital, which enabled me start a cassava chips making business. And I am supported in business skills from our local program coordinators, Resty and Florence, and from Milly and Aminah when they visit several times a year. I can now pay for my children’s school fees and meet all the basic needs at home.”
The Transformative Power of Community Systems Change
Kisoboka Nano (KNI) is so busy! Mr. Richard, a Kampala Capital City Authority – KCCA Commercial Officer, conducted a training last week for KNI women of all livelihoods in how to start and maintain businesses with good yields however small the business is. He discussed recordkeeping, identifying strong markets, maintaining customers, and knowing customer needs.
Disrict came by to our local partner, ARKCCAO, in Kyaninga, Uganda and presented on the financial benefits of participating village savings and loan associations.
To celebrate one year of economic empowerment from nano finance, the Kisoboka Nano Initiative in Busega, Kampala District chose to pass forward the support they receive and visited the elder women in their community, bringing them soap, bread, and other small items that would help their daily life. This generosity warms our hearts.
With Women Kisoboka (UG) management team, Milly Nalukwago and Aminah Nakayiza, as recent graduates of Street Business School, are now Certified Lead Coaches to train the members of our organization in business skills to become confident, self-sustaining entrepreneurs.