Booster loan provides widow with a stable future

Self Help AfricaNews

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Ugandan farmer Justine Tumwesigye has had a difficult few years. With the death of her husband she was left alone to feed four children.

Owning only a small one-acre plot, it has at times has been a challenge for her to keep her family fed. 

‘We would like to eat three times a day but we can’t always do that. We eat what we have when we can.  Often, our meal is basic – it is the same maize porridge every day.’

One of Justine's new piglets

Struggling to support her young family, Justine joined a savings and loans group supported by Gorta-Self Help Africa.

Members of ‘Binyungu Savings and Loans Group’ meet regularly, and alongside the other group members Justine pays in small sums on a regular basis. From the communal pool of money the group provide small loans to their members to support income generating activities, and are required to repay their loans to the fund on a phased basis.

Having shown themselves to be committed savers; Justine and her fellow group members became eligible to access a ‘booster fund’ provided by Gorta-Self Help Africa, which ‘topped up’ the group’s savings,  and enabled the members to access larger, more impactful loans.

Justine borrowed  300,000 Ugandan shillings (just €90) from the fund, and invested in four piglets.Her hope is that once they mature she will be able to breed them and profit by selling the offspring. With access to the booster fund Justine suddenly found herself with an opportunity to plan for the future, something she hadn’t since her partner had passed away.

“Being a single mother here is a struggle but I must continue for my children. There is a lot of hard work to do but the group and the booster fund are assisting me to get my family back to a stable place.”