March 15, 2007
NUSAF uplifts women's livelihoods

By Jackie Nalubwama

Below Mt. Kadam in the flat planes of Karamoja lies a new town and district of Nakapiripirit. Like most small upcoming towns, Nakapiripirit has varying issues, among which is low income.

The Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF) however has come in to improve the town’s predicament through supporting vulnerable groups with income generating Projects.

Agnes Aguma checks on the piggery. she is one of the beneficiaries of NUSAF's women Projects.

So for the women of Nakapiripirit NUSAF has not only given them income but a chance to have the right to own property. Through a piggery Project, which is only 1 year old, 37 women will soon be able to enrich their lives with better standards of living owing to this new income source.

Vicky Lokwang, a beneficiary, is excited about the Project. She said, “I see it as a Project that strengthens women, for women to own property because their land, salaries, even children belong to their husbands.”
On a very happy note, Lokwang said that their husbands now won’t be able to take their money because they will explain to them that it belongs to the group.

Christine Nachuge, 35, is one of the 37 beneficiaries of the piggery Project. Being a woman, Nachuge is hopeful, “It will helps us generate income. We will be lending money to the group members and the interest will be brought back in the pool of the group.” She also added that personally, it will help her educate her children. Nachuge works at the District Personnel Office as a cleaner.

This Project, according to Agnes Aguma, another member in the group, has come at a timely point in their lives, a time when their income needed a real boost. Aguma pondered, “If NUSAF hadn’t come, we would still have our circles but the money we would collect was too little. We would save between Shs. 1000 and 2000, a week.”

Aguma is now looking forward to the savings her group will reap from the piggery Project. “If we decide to open up a pork joint in town, a kilogram of pork will go for Shs. 3, 000, and that is a lot of money,” said a pensive Aguma.

“The vulnerable group support beneficiaries have not yet reaped benefits but we expect them to reap by September. Remember they are still 1 year old,” said NUSAF district technical officer, Charles Drici.
Drici added, “We expect the rural savings banks to help our beneficiaries save when their Projects start earning them money.”

Josephine Nukol, NUSAF’s secretary in Nakapiripirit explained, “When people [in a group] come to us with a Project proposal, 3 of them should be literate, so that they are able to sign and write records of the Project. With time when the Project kicks off, it is these literate ones that will open up a savings account for the group.”

For now the piggery Project is in the pipeline and its beneficiaries can’t wait to reap from it. At a cost of only Shs. 10 million from NUSAF for the Project, 37 lives, and counting, are going to be uplifted from the squalor of poverty to a better standard of living.