By supporting mothers with a business start-up grant and ongoing training (from £15/ month) our Income Generating Activities (IGA) at Child of Hope very quickly improve the lives of our pupils – and their whole families.
Fast social impact takes place when women can provide for their families. And it's sustainable.
Our IGA staff provide free basic business and financial training and then a one-off grant to start the businesses... then follow up with weekly support sessions to help the business prosper.
The parents we work with mainly come from Namatala slum situated on the outskirts of Mbale town, many of whom are internally displaced persons (IDPs) and have for decades lived on handouts and begging for food on the streets. 99% of the direct beneficiaries of the IGA programmes are female, since one of the aims of transformational development is the economic empowerment of women.
We enable these women to start micro enterprises ranging from selling charcoal and rice to running local-style restaurants and produce stalls at the local market. The process also raises the status of women who traditionally lack financial independence and therefore a voice in family decision-making.
Real life stories
These are some of the ladies who have benefited from our IGA scheme:
Harriet’s fruit and veg business: Following her grant and training in business skills, her business has done well, and her household of twelve (eight adults and four children) now live in a larger, better home. Her daughter Beatrice attends Child of Hope School, but now Harriet can send her other children to schools too – and even save money regularly for future needs.
Alice’s life transformed: A business start-up grant from Child of Hope helped 33-year-old Alice start her own charcoal-selling business. Now Alice can look after her seven children by paying rent and buying food and other basic needs. One of her children attends the Child of Hope school and is being sponsored. Alice’s success has spurred on her husband to start a small business - together, the two of them are now building their own house.
Elizabeth - the sky’s the limit! Elizabeth successfully runs a vegetable stall in the local market, which she set up with her business grant. After further training, she increased her profit by strategically adding popular items to the stock, such as cassava flour and cooking oil. With this extra profit, Elizabeth rented some land and began growing rice. In her first harvest, she obtained around 300 kilos of rice, which sold for £125, a substantial sum in Uganda! Due to her rice business, Elizabeth now has all her children attending good schools.
Angela and Laira - Mums in business at school: Angela and Laira have both set up businesses using their grants. They work on the school grounds, selling local snacks and fruit to pupils and staff at break time. Laira's wares include avocados, mangoes and roasted groundnuts, while Angela's include cassava, Irish chips and pancakes. Angela also has another business selling porridge flour (a mixture of millet and soya beans) used by the school’s nutrition programme. It's no wonder they are happy – single mum Laira can now pay school fees for another child, while Angela has been able to buy some goats and hopes to buy some cows!
Jennifer’s sewing machine: Jennifer lives with her husband and their five children in the Namatala slum. A landslide that killed many people forced them to leave their home in the mountains. Jennifer is a trained tailor, so after submitting a business plan, her grant of £25 enabled the purchase of a sewing machine. As she was previously renting one, this has significantly increased her income. Business is going so well that she has now bought a cow! It will produce milk for the whole family with enough left over to sell, further boosting her IGA income.