Women with disabilities & Single mother’s economic empowerment project

In June 2017, Innovative Youth with Action Uganda conducted an engagement meeting with the women of Ageutu Women with disabilities Single mothers Initiative for development (AWWDSM) in which they were allowed to air out the challenges they are facing, Currently the group has 20 registered members and 40 are not registered making a total of 60 members and they registered their group with the local authorities. The group consists of disabled women (Lame, visually impaired and deaf) and single mothers who have been abandoned by their husbands because of their disability and vulnerability.

When we interacted with them, they were able to take us through a series of challenges they face which among others include;

  • Failure to develop a good business idea, most of the mothers will always embark on a business enterprise without a clear idea, but will only embark on a business venture after seeing that her neighbours/friend is doing well in the same business without clearly understanding the aspects related in starting such a business enterprise.
  • Lack of access to financial services more so start up and investment capital for small businesses. This situation is further made worse because most of these mothers lack collateral security and information needed for one to be eligible to access the loan from micro finance and other financial institutions. Also these financial Institutions have higher interest rates which are not conducive for these women.
  • Lack of business management skills which are vital for any business success, this include; customer care, financial and book keeping and the ability to choose the appropriate business employees among others.

It was against the above background that IYAU secured a grant from International Assistance Advisory work group OSSTF/FEESO for implementation of a one year project titled “Women with disabilities & Single mothers economic empowerment project” inAugust 2018 that aimed at empowering women with disabilities and single mothers to become self-supporting and sufficient through training on poultry farming as a business, start and improves your business, human rights and numeracy and literacy skills.

The project benefited women of Ageutu Women with disabilities Single mothers Initiative for development (AWWDSM) group located in Soroti Municipality in Madera ward which consisted of 60 members who are women with disabilities (lame, Visually Impaired, deaf) and single mothers. These beneficiaries were supported to; know their rights, acquire entrepreneurship, literacy and numeracy skills which enabled them become self-sufficient.

In Eight months’ time the project was able to gain proceeds from the sale of chicks, eggs, and broiler worth 15,000,000 Uganda shillings and in the whole year, the incubator was able to hatch 900 eggs. 50% of the proceeds realized in the first year from the poultry business was used for expansion of the poultry farm into a mini commercial enterprise and investment club which is engaging in the production of eggs, chicks and broilers for sale on a large scale and 50% of the proceeds left were shared equally among the beneficiaries which they have used for starting their own individual businesses and paying for medical care, feeding, paying school fees for their children and paying rent. The group gave 30 poultry birds in six months’ time to a vulnerable group called Madera development group identified by Innovative Youth with Action Uganda which has enabled the identified groups get out of poverty and become self-sufficient. Innovative Youth with Action Uganda is continuing to monitor these groups until they become economically self-sufficient and reliant and they have been empowered to identify and train other groups on entrepreneurship, literacy and numeracy and human rights.

The support enabled the women with disabilities and single mothers to become self-supporting, know their rights, learn how to manage their businesses, pay for their children school fees and feed them as well as start their own individual sustainable businesses, start an investment club where they are saving and investing their monies as a result of the training.

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