Because WMI provides a loan program and not a subsidy, it generates revenue for the local women's groups that administer the program on the ground. The interest income covers all local operating expenses. Eventually the loan program generates income in excess of expenses and this free cash flow is being used to provide supplemental health and education programs for the entire community.
The first health training program was initiated in Buyobo with a program provided by the District health officers. The Bududa loan hub provided the next training and just this past month, the Konokoya loan hub (also in Bududa District) organized an enormously popular all day event that was standing room only. In addition to providing important information, each training links WMI borrowers to government programs and servies. It increases the visibility of the loan program and the women who run it as leaders in their communities.
Betty Bigale, the Chair of the Konokoya loan hub group, prepared a first-hand account of the latest training and her thoughtful report reveals insightful details about the daily life and concerns of women in the WMI loan program. If you take a few minutes to read the report, you might find some helpful hints about how to handle husbands to create a harmonious household.
The Education Officer lectures about continued schooling
The Health officer provides valuable notes on sanitation
RE: REPORT ABOUT THE COMMUNITY SEMINAR ON 11/17/2012
FROM: Betty Bigale, Bududa Development Centre Women's Initiative
I greet you all. Thanks for the support you rendered towards this seminar. The members are so impressed about how you organize certain things which help them as they continue to live.
The seminar was so wonderful and members enjoyed the training so much that they sympathized with the few who did not attend due to un avoidable circumstances known to themselves. The attendance was so good, we were 105 members.
We started the seminar at 9.30 a., and ended at 4.30 p.m. We learnt so many things but I would like to mention a few. Agenda was as follows:
Lectures by: Health Office; District Educ. Officer; Senior Community Dev. Officer; HIV/AIDS Counsellor.
Health Officer: - Judith Musamali
This topic was so interesting and I am sure it has taught our members a lesson how to maintain cleanliness in homes. The facilitator taught them the methods of being clean and she said she will be visiting them abruptly. She said she will not inform anyone when she is going to visit any home so that she proves that they have done what she taught. Some of the main things she wants them to do is to have:
-Sleeping under nets
-Clean Cow sheds if there is a cow
-Slash the compound not to attract snakes and mosquitoes
-Clean kitchen etc.
Also advised them to produce few children so that the loans you give them can be of great help in their homes.
Education Officer - Betty Khainza
The education officer taught many things and members were so attentive:
-She advised them to take their children to school including those who have produced and are just wasted at home.
-She advised all women whether young or old to go back to school too and acquire some knowledge. She meant those who dropped out of school and got married. She read for them the government policy of adult people going back to school to acquire knowledge.
-To pay money for the children to have meals at school so that they can study well.
-Buy uniform and shoes for the children - this encourages a child to look nice and want to be at school (not ashamed among fellow students)
-Not to use very abusive language towards the children - it demoralizes them from being lively etc.
Senior Community Development Officer - Fazil Masokoyi
Advised women to be pillars of the homes by:
-Keeping peace in a home
-Creating good relationship with the husband so that the children can copy the good morals.
-Avoid unnecessarily quarreling which can result into fighting because husbands are short tempered people who need respect.
-Advised women to combine forces with their husbands to discipline the children.
-Also advised them to try and sleep under mosquito nets as well as their children.
-He said that the worst disease he has discovered is ignorance. So he encouraged them to go and register for Adult Education immediately.
He told us that since he has seen such a good group he promised to see that we benefit from some projects at the district. He directed me to pick the forms from a certain office, fill them according to our colour groups and return them to his office in order to achieve a project from the district. There are five projects: Brick Laying; Tailoring; Saloon; Chairs And Tents; Welding; Handcraft.
Once we apply and qualify in the one of the above mentioned project, they give money to buy what is necessary for the project and give them accountability. On Saturday 24th Nov. 2012 most of the members will come for loan repayment and I will give them the forms to fill and be submitted to the Community Development Office for action.
He praised all organizers (Robyn, Barbara and Betty) for such an important seminar for the goodness of members.
HIV/AIDS Counsellor - Sarah Mukimba
She taught them what HIV/AIDS means. She told members that AIDS has 3 different types and so when one is suffering from one type, it is important that she or he does not go with many other people to acquire another type. She advised them especially those who are aging, to abstain so that they can live longer. She said if one goes on mixing all the three types, he/she dies very quickly because some of the three types are so deadly. She taught us how to prevent getting AIDS and in case you have it, how to go about it in order to live longer.
She also told members that the government had brought a machine for testing uterus cancer so she encouraged them to go for testing at Bududa Hospital. She told them that once cancer is discovered at early stage, it can be treated. The whole exercise was wonderful.
If I mention all what we learnt, I can type many pages. The members said that there are many things they discovered in this seminar which they didn't know. They had assumed that they knew much yet they were ignorant about many issues. They have appreciated so much for your efforts.
Women take careful notes on the infromation provided by the trainers.
After the day long session, WMI was able to provide a simple meal for all of the women.