Katete settlement, Mbarara region, is home to the Youth allied agency Savings Group. The group was founded by four members in December 2020, after realizing that many young people waste a lot of money on frivolous activities and wind up with nothing at the end of the year.
Following the formation of the group, members began creating rules that would govern the group’s operations, leadership, finances, and community activities. The group defined its leadership explicitly and assigned specific tasks and responsibilities to each group leader.
To improve members’ livelihoods, the group uses its savings to make loans to members with low incomes who want to expand their personal ventures. The loans are also accompanied by technical expertise on how to spend the money wisely.
The group also ventures into tailoring activities and the arrival of the micro-grants acted as a stimulant for the group’s efforts to increase its tailoring output. The SDI-youth inclusion program with the micro-grant support solidified the group with 1.5 million shillings, which enables it to purchase a new sewing machine. The machine can finish fabric, yielding in standardized cloth ices something that has enhanced their production.
As a consequence of this additional support, the group is also supporting and elevating the skills of other young men and women in the neighborhood. According to the group chairperson Hassan, “A number of young people are now visiting our center to develop these skills. This is advantageous to us because we are continually contributing to our communities.”
Despite the assistance, the group faces tactical challenges. “We encounter obstacles that revolve around budgetary constraints. When youth interact with these machines more frequently, they suffer technological damage. This necessitates frequent machine maintenance”. Group chairman Hassan noted.
The group’s chairperson states that the group has a large strategy to develop their tailoring business using stationed equipment. They also intend to own a welding facility in the future. The concept aims to explore new prospects for young people living in informal settlements while also improving the group’s livelihood.