This project helps vulnerable women who are caught in households of domestic abuse by empowering the women financially and educating their children.

The caretaker of Elyon Women Empowerment Program poses for a photo with some of the children they support.

This women’s group has grown and developed from a small group of women who witnessed a need in their community and decided to act. Every day, they would see the number of children loitering around out of school grow. The temptations of theft and the community’s discrimination magnified the problem and so the women joined together to do their own assessment and identify a solution to help these children gain an education. What they found was that the issue’s roots were in a high volume of households where domestic abuse was common, which often leads to the wife giving birth to many children. Having seen the need and identified the cause, the women formed Elyon to help create empowered women with options for their children. They are achieving this in two ways:

  1. A savings group designed for women and ran by electeed members to help generate savings. Members buy shares for 5,000 UGX (1.4 USD) depending on what they can afford. This gives them access to a pot of money where they can take out loans of 2%, in relation to what they have proven they can save.This is compared to commercial loans of 22% in Uganda, and by only borrowing what members can afford, they are not left in debt but can start their own enterprise and cover emergencies.
  2. The creation of a school, which was launched out of a direct need to help one woman and her family. She had four children who, due to neglect, were thieving in the community. As she was facing eviction from the community that she was raised in, Elyon stepped in and offered her an avenue of support. The school was formed and the first four pupils were her children. Then as more children who were not in school were identified, the school formed a committee to grow and they now offer education from Primary 1 to Primary 4. 91 children aged 3 – 12 years come daily to the school and 50 of these children’s parents don’t pay fees but support the school in kind by working in the farm or providing food to be prepared.

2020 Goals for Elyon Women Empowerment Program

  1. For 70 children to be sustainably supported through education at Elyon Joy School by the end of 2021
  2. For 10 women to have their own enterprise, earning them a liveable income by the start of 2021

How your fundraising will help us achieve the goals

 One of the classrooms at the Elyon School

In 2020, The Uganda Marathon is excited to enable you to support both these incredible initiatives by Elyon.

The savings group is growing and 10 women in the group have been committed to seeing an enterprise they have grown together expand. A group piggery program has been formed and money from the sales is distributed amongst the members. The Uganda Marathon 2020 is expanding this centrally managed program to 10 pigs, which is set to increase the income of the members by 5,000,000 UGX ($1,352) a year.

The school is targeted to increase the number of pupils being supported to 70. In order to make this possible and sustainable, 80 families who can afford the small school fees, which range between 85,000 – 113,000 UGX ($23 – $31) per term, will be attracted to join the school. The money generated from this helps pay for the balance of those supported within the school’s own means.

Your Legacy Day During the Uganda Marathon Week

You’ll spend the day at Elyon Junior School, building a key hole garden that will supplement the food for the children who come to the school during the holidays.

If there is time, once the garden is created, you’ll also build a play area for the children that will engage them safely whilst they are there.

Legacy day activities are subject to change at any time, this is not a final plan.

Local Hero Profile

Mrs Lydia Naluyinda the director of ELYON is married with four biological and eight fostered children. Her husband’s name is Richard Isabirye and they live in a village called Kayunga- Mukungwe sub-county, Masaka district. She teaches at Elyon Joy school.  

When they settled in Kayunga village in 2013, she saw how women were suffering to take care of their families and her heart was moved. “I saw some children loitering around without going to school and felt bad”.

Because the need was greater than what she could do, Lydia mobilized some women around and they started saving little money which could be borrowed by the members to help start some business that can help start a small business. And so they started. “As we went on still the little business could not cater for children’s school fees for the members. I started teaching some of those children together with mine. As they moved on more needy children joined and we formalised the school and other members in the community started joining.”