Gloria and her mother Florence, members of ‘God’s Will’ Seed Effect Group, both work hard to provide for their families in Uganda.
Gloria has three young children and runs two small businesses in the main market. Florence has six grown children and runs a small retail store.
59% of Seed Effect members are South Sudanese refugees who have very little, if any, access to the financial tools they need. The remaining 41% of Seed Effect members are Ugandan nationals, like Gloria and Florence.
While other microfinance programs are available to some Ugandans, there has been an overwhelming demand for Seed Effect.
“The members in our Seed Effect group have a lot of respect for the way we are trained. There is a lot of transparency and the structure makes it very clear and maintains unity and togetherness within the whole group.
This has also helped with time management. When people agree, we save time and that is good for our meetings.”
After saving weekly in their group, both Gloria and Florence took small loans which they invested in their businesses. Gloria said,
“Saving money helps me because you save and then you take a loan. I used the loan to buy the inventory you see here. Because once you have all these things and you sell them out, then you increase your capital.”
Their Seed Effect Savings & Loan Group met weekly for nine months.
Florence shared, “the whole group had 8.6 million Ugandan Shillings ($2,300) at the end of the cycle to distribute during the graduation share out.
Most everyone saved all that they could during the cycle and so when they were sharing out, members on average received 294,000 Ugandan Shillings ($72).
We left 12 shares in the box so we could start our second cycle with more capital. We also raised the share value in the second cycle, it used to be 1,000 and now it is 2,000 shillings. And most of the time group members are saving the maximum amount of five shares weekly.”
The women are now in their second savings and loan cycle.
They shared what they like most about their group.
“There is preaching before we start and praying also. It encourages us.
“Sharing the Gospel is really helping us in life a lot, both in terms of empowering us economically and then it helps our members to really forgive.
Before Seed Effect came here, we did not really understand the origin of poverty. But now that Seed Effect has come, they have told us about the four key relationships and this understanding is really helping us a lot. We are working hard to restore these relationships and reduce our poverty. I think many people should join Seed Effect.”