The Village Savings & Loans Association is an initiative run by AICOD (Action for Integrated Community Development) that encourages groups of members, numbering about 5 families in each group who all have a disabled individual in their care, to save money into a central pot. These pots can be used to give out loans to members, for support of their dependents or income generating schemes for the entire group.

The money generated from the #UGM2016 marathon is supporting the VSLA by offering matched funding for the groups – we put money into their shared pot, based on the amount of money saved by the groups.
Andy Bownds and Tom have recently visited one of the VSLA groups and even within the short space, since the marathon, the progress has been incredible!
Mama Group Kalagala – This group has 14 members, currently each saving 2,000 UGX a week. This has meant that the group have been able to buy two goats at 100,000 ugx each. The goats are kept in one of the member’s goat enclosures, however, so that the group can by more goats, they are  saving to build their own goat house. We have also been able to support this group by offering them expert training, conducted by the head teacher of a nearby disability school.
Some of the things that Mama Group Kalaga have said about the disability training:
“[I have learned]Awareness of how to handle my child and the benefits of working together in a group” (Nakaggwa Sarah)
“My child will no longer behind” (Haji Tayiti)
“I have gained confidence that if disabled children are looked after well they can be useful citizens” (Kanwkama Janat)
These are big steps for this community!
They have also had a few things to say about the savings scheme:
“We want to find solutions to work together to help our disabled children” (Namazzi Aisha)
“We meet every week and savings build fast” (Mpirirwe Jolly)
We will be keeping further track of Mama Group Kalaga and other VSLA groups to show the impact that the money raised is having.
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