The Microfinance Support Centre (MSC) has announced a special Emyooga program for young mothers in Busoga sub region.
The MSC board member, Ambassador Agnes Kadama Kalibala made the revelation in Kamuli District where she joined the Minister of State for Microfinance, Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo to monitor the performance of Emyooga program in the region.
“Microfinance Support Centre has given shs350 million to skill our children who dropped out of school. This will be done under a special arrangement called Special Emyooga Program,” Kadama said.
Speaking on Friday, Kadama descried the poor quality of education in Busoga .
“I am the chairperson of Busoga Education Initiative. Believe it or not, the standard of education in Busoga is very poor. When you look at PLE, we are the worst performing, even Karamoja is better than us. When COVID-19 broke out and schools were shut, girls got pregnant. Boys that we had stopped from working in sugarcane plantations, all went back. We have very high drop of school,” she said.
Kadama said the school dropouts will be trained to have various skills such as carpentry, tailoring, salon among others
“After they have acquired relevant skills, they will join Emyooga, and improve their standards of living.”
Minister Kasolo welcomed the program, and said it should be extended to other regions of the country.
“I am happy that at the board level, the board directors at Microfinance Support Centre sat and agreed to create a program to support young mothers who got pregnant due to COVID-19. They are stuck. We need to skill them so that they have a skill to rely on. I am happy with that arrangement, and I wish that it is rolled out allover the country. It is going to begin with Busoga, but I think we shall continue looking for money to extend it,” Kasolo said.
According to officials, Kamuli district which is made up of four constituencies including Bugabula North, Bugabula South, Buzaya county, and Kamuli Municipality received shs2.24billion as seed capital from Microfinance Support Centre.
In terms of savings, saccos in Bugabula North saved shs256.9billion, shs361million for Bugabula South, shs476.5 million for Buzaya and shs269million for Kamuli Municipality and gave out loans worth shs717.9million, shs962.3million, shs1.15 billion and shs829 million respectively.
Bugabula North saccos recovered loans worth shs149 million, shs309 million for Bugabula South, shs515 million for Buzaya and shs61million for Kamuli Municipality.
According to the Kamuli district commercial officer, Monic Inhensiko, some political leaders in the district made it hard for saccos to recover money lent out to members by telling them not to pay back Emyooga loans.
He added that lack of well established offices for saccos slowed down their operations and at the same time hindered their effective supervision and monitoring due to hardships in tracing their location.
“There is poor saving culture which is still dominating among the community members. Many people, especially in Bugabula North has not yet appreciated the benefits of saving.”
The district commercial officer also noted that multiple borrowing and membership where one person is a member in many saccos and borrows from each of them is a concern since many have failed to pay back the loans.
“There is a poor community attitude about the program, where members think that the seed capital was a token of appreciation from President Museveni. This has slowed down the operations of the program.”