Promoting financial inclusion to improve access to education
Having been posted to Buswikira Primary School in Mayuge District and immersing myself in the community, I found out that education inequity is also exacerbated by poverty. This means that parents are not in a position to support their children’s education by providing scholastic materials and other school requirements.
To mitigate this, I mobilized the community and started a savings group called “Tusononte Savings and Credit Cooperative” which extends quick and affordable credit to its members. Through this savings group, members are encouraged to borrow small funds to enable them to start small-scale businesses to widen their sources of income.
The savings group also provides a platform that encourages parents to support their children to attend school instead of engaging them in labour activities such as cutting sugarcane — a popular labour activity that has kept hundreds of children away from school.
We have registered 15 members since the savings group started. Four members have started small businesses which enable them to earn daily income to meet their basic needs and sustain weekly savings.
“Because of the need to have money to save every Sunday, I have been compelled to start cooking cattle hooves (Molokonyi) through which I also get some little money to buy sugar for my children”, Kyazike Jane the vice-chairperson said.
All members were able to buy scholastic materials for their children with ease when schools reopened as opposed to the previous years.
“Thank you for the idea. Imagine, we have always had our children chased from school just because of lack of a book that we could not afford to buy! With this initiative, we have woken up,” Balikolaki Livingstone, a parent, said.
We look forward to enlisting more members and encouraging them to start up income-generating activities to enable them to acquire the basic needs and also think long-term to support their children attain quality education.
Wandera Ivan Timothy
Teach For Uganda Fellow