Ugandan community of Kasasa receives support from savings and credit cooperative

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Members of Uganda’s Kasasa community are receiving support from a savings and credit cooperative to improve their livelihoods.

The project from the InteRoots Initiative, a Denver, USA-based non-profit organization with supporters around the world, has provided nearly $500,000 in unrestricted community funding for the project.

The credit union already has more than 120 accounts open, indicating that more members of the local community are eager to participate.

The Tat Sat Community Academy (TaSCA), a school in Kasasa, will also welcome 500 students when it opens in January 2023.

In addition to the school, TaSCA will also make room for cultural support and an active maize mill for local farmers.

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The group is also rolling out another program called the Graduate Enterprise Fund (GEF), which will allow students upon graduation to submit a plan of earmarked funds for purposes that further their goals. This may include furthering their education or starting a business.

A community board, which has been formed to oversee the project, must approve the plan and graduates will receive financial support for approximately one to two years, ensuring economic stability beyond graduation.

TaSCA community board member Agnes Namayega says women and children have not had an equal chance for financial progress and development in the past.

“Given the fact that the community is paternalistic, the GEF and SACCO for students [means] a shift in current perceptions of women in our community to be equally productive members and for an increased and balanced community,” she said.

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Namayega added that “Since the beginning of TaSCA, I have focused on this opportunity for women and children in the three pillars of our project – women – women – women!”

“This nimble, community-driven structure allowed flexibility in times of crisis, so the project persisted despite challenges,” said Frank Scott, executive director of the InteRoots Initiative.

Scott added that “the community grew and embraced the project, and the structures created also created forums for the community to discuss ways to support each other in times of crisis like the pandemic.”

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