By Cameron Brening and Ashley Thomas
On a field visit to Pabbo, we were fortunate enough to witness first-hand just how life changing the Uplift Program is throughout Northern Uganda. Pabbo is one of the four Uplift villages, where the next phase of the program is being implemented. The day spent in this village was such a humbling and indescribable experience. Everyone was so welcoming, immediately greeting and thanking us while we exchanged warm greetings in a jumble of mixed languages.
In Pabbo there are nineteen different groups that are currently receiving micro-finance loans which are divided amongst their members in order to pursue their individual small business goals. Bimonthly, team members of HCU visit these villages to asses their progress and collect their minimum payment amounts. Currently, there are seven groups that have successfully met their repayment goals with a full 100% payback thus far.
We rewarded two of these outstanding groups for their commitment and perseverance towards the program. To inspire them and the surrounding groups HCU is gifting them with a livestock reward of 15 chickens each. These chickens will help supplement their income and are expected to multiply in numbers to above 600 within months. By creating another revenue stream, it will allow these groups to allocate funds toward school fees for their children in addition to their small businesses. The goal is for these groups is to no longer rely on Uplift for micro-finance loans, allowing them to be completely self-sufficient.
Furthermore, these groups are expected to give the same reward to other successful groups within the program in a waterfall effect so they can receive the same self-sustaining benefits. This will continue the sense of cameraderie that exists between the members, even after they graduate and become more independent. The warm hearts and big smiles along with the success of the program was truly inspiring to be around. We are so excited for these groups, as they will be the first graduates from the Uplift Program!