Income Generation Activities
ACTogether supports and encourages group initiatives aimed at improving community living conditions. Community groups are managing to support and sustain small businesses, such as selling cloths, poultry keeping, goat rearing, bricklaying, mushroom growing, plastic recycling, and candle and soap making. These initiatives increase group savings and provide employment to group members. Many of the communities supported by ACTogether benefited from the Government’s National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) program where communities received chickens, broilers, and layers as seed capital to boost their income levels. Exchange visits provide a tremendous opportunity for communities to share lessons and ideas on how to improve their income generating activities and stimulate innovative income generating activities in different communities.
Suubi and Loaning
As the Ugandan Federation grows in size and confidence, the need for finances to support community group initiatives becomes more eminent. ACTogether, SDI, and the Lutheran World Federation worked together to start a Ugandan Urban Poor Fund – called the Suubi Development Initiative. The Fund, which is managed by representatives of the savings groups, was formulated in accordance with the experience of other SDI urban poor funds, but tailored to fit the Ugandan context. Federation members commit a non-refundable amount of money that helps build the fund. “We are setting up the fund in the same five towns where the government facility is targeted in order to build slum dweller capacities to draw down resources for their development”, said Sarah Ibanda, CEO of ACTogether. When organized member communities contribute to such a fund, it is hoped that they can attract additional funds from outside sources like governments, donors and the private sector. Indeed, the Ugandan Government has already promised to contribute to the fund through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. These funds can then be given out as loans to federation members to build houses, start businesses, buy land, and install services.