Bugisu Women Development Initiatives

OAKTREE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES is involved in capacity building of rural poor women and youth group and extension of Revolving fund to them. We are currently working with Integrated Disabled Women Activities – IDIWA in the Busoga sub region, were we help the poor disabled rural women help themselves. Our mission is to empower and improve the poor people’s opportunities to access skills and revolving fund to eradicate the root causes of poverty on local communities so as to enable them attain self-reliance sustainability through setting up their individual viable/profitable micro business to generate income for their families. Formal credit institutions e.g. commercial bank deem these rural poor women credit risks because they lack collateral consequently they have no access to the business loan to help their self employed activities grow. We plan to provide services to poor, low income women especially rural clients lacking access to other financial institution. So we have a distinct commitment to reaching the poor.

Every month Integrated Disabled Women Activities – IDIWA alone has close to 120 rural poor women applying to us to participate in their capacity building and empowering program. We intend to extend these development initiatives to Bugisu subregion, But we lack enough capital resources to cover all our needy / potential client to provide the much needed skills training and revolving fund service to these women.

We would therefore need additional financial resources to enable us to cover our planned programs for the year 2020. Our plan is to reach 100 poor rural women in bugisu every quarter of the year. We believe that through your kind consideration, we would be able to access grant support from your organization to enable us empower and help these rural women.

This support would go a long way in the transforming of the economic and social lives of our rural poor women who are often marginalized and lack access to means of production. We have attached on this letter a copy of our itemized budget for the project.

The Project

Implementing Organization:
The Bugisu Women’s Development Initiatives – BWDI, Uganda will be implemented by ODI. ODI is a Community Based Organization registered with the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) registered with the registrar of companies as a not for profit organization in Uganda.

Project Location & Target Group
The Project is located in Bugisu subregion in eastern Uganda. The Project covers all the districts which comprise bugisu and are part of the greater Mbale. These Districts include, Bududa, Manafwa, Namisindwa, Mbale, Sironko and Bulambuli Districts. The project is to involve 100 poor rural women per quarter from all the districts.

Organization’s Location Address:
Headquarters are located at Mbale Post Office Building, Republic Streed, Mbale. It operates in the distric which were part of the former Mbale District. The Postal Address is P.O. Box 1576, Mbale, Uganda. Our E-mail address is: info@bwodi.com, Website: www.bwodi, Telephone Number (s): +256 780 958983

The vision of OAKTREE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES is to build a vibrant, efficient and sustainable Revolving Fund Programme which will promote economic and social development of the economically active poor people in Bugisu Area and elsewhere, by building their capacity through training and non-formal education and improving their opportunities to access and to eradicate the root causes of poverty in local communities so as to enable them attain self reliance and sustainability by setting up viable / profitable micro business to generate income for their families.

OAKTREE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES is dedicated to reducing poverty by helping the lowest income rural people, and the economically active poor people in the Bugisu Area to start or expand micro businesses.

Aims and Objectives of the project:

To empower and build capacity of economically active poor women and youth by providing them with training is business, book keeping, savings and management skills and providing them with the Revolving Fund.

Objectives:

– To extend a Revolving Fund to members of the local communities of the economically active poor women (Bankable poor) in the age of 18 – 60 years old, so as to empower them engage in income generating micro projects and businesses for their families.
– To channel at least 90% of the Revolving Fund to economically active poor women, women groups and youths.
– To mobilise and motivate the rural economic poor people set up self-help income generating projects by training them in entrepreneurial and business skills.
– To liberate rural women from economic bondage / dependency and poverty and from marginalization so as to liberate them economically and improve their standard of living.

Our quarterly target is to train 20 groups of clients each quarter of the year, with each group comprising 5 members. Our target in the year is to reach, train empower and serve including extending Revolving Fund to further 80 groups of women and youth i.e. approximately 400 clients / beneficiaries by the end of the year.

 The ODI Group Lending Methodology:

Our Revolving Fund lending programme is based on group lending methodology where needy solidarity groups of 5 people or more form a borrowing group, but each person has her own business to start or run. The group members co-guarantee each other’s loans. There is no collateral, as the poor women and youth lack assets to stake for the loans. But the group members use peer pressure to ensure loan repayments are done on time and in full. A built-in saving scheme enables the poor women and youth grasp the essence of savings and to experience a process of financial discipline for 1 to 2 months period. Savings are handled and managed within and by group members and their group leaders. The groups open up an account with Pride Microfinance (MDI) bank, which is owned by the government and regulated by Bank of Uganda. At least 15% of the required loan should be saved before loans applied for are processed and disbursed to the groups. Business counselling and training continues throughout the loan term provided by Group Mentors and Field Officers.

Our organisation teaches /trains the women groups how to make small savings every week and acquire financial discipline for a period of 4 to 8 weeks in order to accumulate 15% of the required loan. Credit will then be extended to the project beneficiaries. This savings therefore do provide some level of security to our program for the loans and are therefore caveated by our organisation during the loan period. Our repayment rates are 96%. Hence keeping in line with the best practices in the Micro finance Industry.

Capacity building and training will be carried out in the following areas:

– In Group Management / Group dynamics
– In entrepreneurial skills development
– In micro-projects investment/Business management
– In Book-keeping skills and
– In savings mobilisation to enable them access Revolving Fund to improve on their income and income generation for their families/households.

Hence economically and socially empowering them and building their capacity to provide for their families.

It is largely believed that one of the impacts of the grant support will be to increase self-respect and esteem among the local women and hence liberating them economically, physically, and socially.

Beneficiaries of the anticipated grant project funds:

The beneficiaries will be at least 400 poor rural / needy women in the Bugisu subregion by end of year.

Intended benefits to the beneficiaries:

– Building capacity in skills such as entrepreneurial/business management skills, leadership skills.
– Empowering beneficiaries economically towards self-sufficiency to enable beneficiaries generate enough income for their households.
– Social emancipation of rural women (they will learn leadership skills and group organisation and management) to enable them participates fully in the social and economic life of this country.
– Acquisition of literacy and functional skills, credit with education will equip functional skills and literacy skills to needy women since this will be incorporated as a training component. They will be able now to identify, buy or grow and provide nutritious foods for their children to combat malnutrition and marasmus and feed a balanced diet to their households.

– They will mobilise savings, build and internalise a culture of savings and develop financial discipline through systematic and spontaneous savings under the credit programme.
– Young women with no capital or incomes who would otherwise resort to a life of crime e.g. prostitution.

Resource Requirements:

• Funds are required to conduct and facilitate training to 100 rural women in 20 groups.
• Funds for logistical support, such as for training venues, accommodation for facilitators, meals, refreshments, transport, fuel, stationery, typesetting, typing and printing, photocopying, and binding workshop materials.

In addition to grant support, the following sources will also be considered to sustain the programme.

• Internal sources such as retained earnings and surplus from the lending program will need to be ploughed back, to increase the loan portfolio / capital base.
• In addition, external sources of funds such as soft loans and commercial loans will also be used to finance the planned development.

Source of our present funds

Our organization has been able to get some funding and or logistical support from the following sources:

• Development partners like Action of Disabilities, NUDIPU, who provided support directly to IDIWA.
• Local savings from members – locally mobilised savings
• Board members’ contributions.

Project costs and capacity

We project program revenue to fully cover all project operational and financial cost by June 2021 as we started charging cost effective interest rate of 2% per month. The project already possesses Laptop, membership card and book of accounts. In addition there are several women and youth groups throughout the region, which form the backbone of our lending program. This interest rate is readily and happily accepted by our clients. The 2% interest rate fully covers cost of capital (at the opportunity cost, including inflation), administration, loan losses and a minimum return on equity.

Movement towards financial independence

The technical staff seconded to us by Pride microfinance, and the local cadre of project officers are already trained in Micro-finance best practices and loan tracking systems. In addition, government policy which favours decentralization of services and the setting up of village banks, rural credit schemes and micro-finance institutions have greatly favoured our operations.

Portfolio quality

Given the high repayment rate of 96% currently beying experience at IDIWA, we expected that BWDI will easily attain the 98% repayment rate by the end of the year we hope to maintain a portfolio quality with arrears low enough and that late payments and default do not threaten the on going viability of the project. We project that loan in areas of over 30 days to be below 2%.

Project self-sustainability

Our micro-credit program is projected to fully reach self-sufficiency in three years’ time. An increased clientele will mean more interest revenue for the program, which will contribute to a growing revolving fund and a reduced cost per unit of loan lent. Measures to be taken to reduce long-term dependence on grants and subsidies will include re-capitalizing our loan portfolio by ploughing back interest earned from the loan-lending programme. At the same time we shall also turn to borrowing from banks to increase our loan portfolio base. With our growth plan, we are fully set to become self-sustainable by the end of the third year and to attain operational efficiency within two years.

A loan loss reserve fund of 5% of the loan portfolio will be set aside to insure any bad debts. This money will be put on a Fixed Deposit Account at a Commercial Bank to earn us a fixed deposit interest rate of 10% per annum. As a measure to safeguard against bad debts, we plan to take an Insurance Policy and Insurance Programme and the clients’ loans with a local Insurance Company.

Other savings, such as compulsory and voluntary savings of 15% of amount required for loan from client will also be deposited on fixed accounts with commercial banks to earn interest. Careful loan portfolio management and loan tracking will be applied to enhance portfolio quality. Our staff, with the help of Pride Microfinance, will be trained in loan tracking and MFI best practices.

Our Revolving Fund programme hopes to build a solid and growing fund base with clear business plans, backed by operational capacities that lead to mobilisation of commercial funds from depositors and the financial system and eventually to full independence from donor support by the end of the 3rd year by generating its own income and enough to sustain the programme.

Activities this year 2020

– Have trained 20 New Groups of 100 rural women clients. The clients are reached in locations in every district in the region.
– The rural women are able to access the first cycle of loans of $125 each. Totalling $50,000.00.
– Three of our Field Officers attend one-week training workshop in Micro-Finance Best Practices organised by Pride Microfinance – and other Micro Finance Institutions in Uganda.
– Train 400 women in business skills and group management.
– We are also involved in women and youth energy saving and conservation projects.

Our Future plans

– To expand our Revolving Fund Program to target all the clients we train and to have continuous follow up. With more financial and logistical support we hope to increase numbers of groups to be trained monthly and to access more rural areas to reach more women.
– To expand our capacity building / training program to gain more capacity by recruiting more field/ training staff. Also to acquire more equipment for training, such as video, camera, digital camera, overhead slide project, etc.
– To add the widows and orphan empowerment component on Revolving Fund Program to Widows, orphans and / or orphan households to be assisted / empowered to be self reliant:
– To introduce new products / services such as health insurance scheme (micro-care) for micro-credit clients in conjunction with relevant service providers.
– To take up insurance scheme for our Revolving Fund Program so as to ensure and maximise all our local repayments to 100%.
– To expand to neighbouring districts which form part of the eastern region of Uganda.
– Service additional 400 Rural Poor women clients in the 2nd year directly with:
i) Training in basic business skills and
ii) Provide and extend to them Revolving Fund to invest in their micro-enterprises.

4.0 Purpose of the grant being applied for:
(a) The grant we are applying for will enable our Community Based NGO achieve the following:

– Train and serve 100 Rural Poor women clients directly with:
i) Training in basic business / entrepreneurial skills / micro-business management.
ii) Provide and extend to them Revolving Fund to invest in their micro-enterprises.
 To build our capacity to provide more services to the low income local women, more efficiently. To increase numbers of rural beneficiaries who will have access to our much needed services.
 Expand our outreach. We shall be able to expand our geographical coverage to more remote villages in Bugisu in more remote areas where there is greatest need for empowerment of poor rural women – where credit and business skills are much needed.
 Promoting the grassroots women in the economic and social development of their lives e.g. developing and replicating new models for community investment.
 Introduce financial products and services to the targeted communities.
 Acquire enough materials for training and business counselling.
 Improve the following:
– Increase our loan capital base / loan revolving fund.
– Improve service deliver
– Improve operation efficiency
– Enhance our monitoring and supervision capabilities.

(b) The grant will enable the poor rural women beneficiaries achieve the following:
– Access training from our staff and experienced professional training providers in business skills and business management.
– Access credit for their micro-business, leading to increased incomes for participating households and better nutrition.
– Access high quality financial services and products.
– Get empowered socially and economically.
– Access functional Literacy Education.
– Increased self respect and esteem among rural poor women clients who will strive to succeed and overcomes poverty.
– Alleviation of poverty from their midst.
– Will acquire financial discipline and learn how to save and invest.
– Through such empowerment, the project will enhance local level participation of the grassroots population (women) in local policy.

5.0 Training Curriculum and Timing
There is an established training curriculum covering 6 hours every day for two day per week taking 2 weeks period for each new groups.

SUMMARY:

Donor component request – US$ 82,200
Local contribution component – $ 18,250

TOTAL – US$ 100,450

You can help

Help us to empower and carry out capacity building, skills training of poor rural women and extend a revolving fund to these poor rural women in the poorest and remote parts of bugisu, to enable them start or improve on their micro-enterprises/income generating micro-projects.