Better Lives

News & Updates

Kikondo, UG – Zinabala and Kigasa VICOBAs will merge for larger opportunities – Jun 2024

During the decade since its formation, Wamukisa Support Organization has continuously expanded its assistance to families participating in Better Lives programs, including training and mentoring the formation and operation of VICOBA groups. With a primary purpose to improve members’ ability to earn, the groups also become a place where they can share Food Always In The Home (FAITH) gardening and animal raising tips, child rearing challenges, and health practices to survive a pandemic. Weekly meetings bond the member families of a village. After seven years separate, now Zinabala (“from a small seed to a healthy and productive plant”) and Kigasa (“something very important”) VICOBAs in the neighboring villages of Kikondo and Nsujjuwe are merging to gain even greater potential.

Wamukisa managed to register 70 families in the two villages who attended trainings on various topics and ideas. These families opened FAITH gardens and later they were trained on how to form and operate VICOBAs in their respective villages. Each VICOBA had members from 25 families. Members have managed to improve on their savings. After Covid-19 lockdown, they have started saving and investing again, investing in individual and group businesses which provide groceries, tailoring, staple crop growing, and poultry keeping.

The merged ViCOBA will have 50 members, once agreement documents are finalized and filed with government agencies. They will start with each member paying 5,000 shillings as membership fees for their new VICOBA. On average each member saves 5,000 shillings weekly, making 20,000 shillings monthly. After merging, they will be able to save together 1,000,000 shillings (about $278) every month. With that larger capital, the group will be able to fund larger group businesses and larger loans for larger individual member businesses.

Larger size is not without new challenges. The members will have to get used to each other through weekly meetings. This will require some time to start saving as early as July. They dream of having many members with the same objectives so that they can start to register a SACCO (Savings and Credit Cooperative) in the future.