Empowering men to engage in community development
Men receiving goats from URF
The big buzz in development is always women’s empowerment, but we forget that men play a key role in how effective and active women can become in community development activities. The men have a lot of influence on what their wives do; so, if a husband doesn’t buy into what the wife is passionate about, it doesn’t go successfully. What usually happens are heightened tension in the household and sometimes leading to domestic violence or divorce.
To address this imbalance in our approach, URF has also invested in a program for empowering men to get involved in community programs and also support their wives who might be engaged in various self-help or voluntary programs in the community.
Our outreach to men involve workshops on various topics, skills development, and some self-help projects as indicated below:
1. Men’s co-save
We have registered progress in savings whereby the group started with total shares of eighty three thousands and five hundred shillings(83,500) and at the end of the last cycle in 2011 we had shares totaling 694,995 Ug shillings. Men take out loans from this fund to use for small businesses returning the money at a small interest rate.
2. Animal keeping
Mr. Musuza with his pig
In 2011 we have able to increase on number of animals from 11 to 26 animals. One member is given an animal and when it gives birth, all younger ones are given to other members of the group. We have given out 19 pigs and 7 goats though we have lost 2 goats and three pigs so far. “The project is very helpful to me,” said Mr. Musuuza Paul, one of URF men’s group members. He continues that, “I was among the first people who were given pigs. After eight months I had already given out the four piglets to other men. After five months it gave birth again to eight piglets and I sold them for cash. I used the money to start another business and now am trading in local produce and my income is going up steadily. Thank you URF”
3. Rental Chair project
The business started with 60 chairs and has managed to get net profit of 120,000 in 2011. Each chair is rented at 300 shs an event. They are going to use the profit to purchase more chairs. However the challenge is having limited number of chairs and customers always need more than 200 chairs per hire which make them to be out competed.
Each chair cost $9 any donation is of great impact.