Katosi Women Development Trust (KWDT) operates a revolving micro-credit scheme that supports women’s access to credit for startups and improves already existing micro businesses. Each of the 35 women groups comprises a loan committee. This committee is responsible for overseeing the program activities including approving loan applications, monitoring the progress of members’ businesses per individual, reminding borrowers of their payment dates, collecting the payments, and creating a functional link between KWDT and the beneficiaries. In order to sufficiently complete their tasks, KWDT contributes airtime to the loan committee every month which they use for coordinating the program.
This is the story of Miss Nafula Sarah, a member of the Nakisunga Women’s Group, one of the 35 groups under the KWDT, and a member of the Nakisunga Women’s Group loan committee.
Figure 1: Ms Sarah Nafula shares how working under the KWDT strategic plan 2022-2026 has transformed her life.
Miss Nafula Sarah is a 44-year-old single mother of 7 children; 5 boys and 2 girls. She completed Primary Seven (P.7) . Nafula operates a shop adjacent to her house as a source of income. Her eldest daughter attends a day school and helps her on weekends and during the long school holidays
‘‘Before I joined KWDT, I lacked many attributes but most importantly, I lacked confidence’’, Miss Nafula narrates. She experienced rejection from the community and her peers but was determined to change her predicament.
Upon learning about the benefits of becoming a member of KWDT, Nafula was intrigued to join. She inquired from her friends who were already members of KWDT groups about the requirements and applied to become a member of the Nakisunga women’s group. Nafula’s application was successful and since then, she has been able to gain knowledge and skills to improve her life. Nafula remarks, ‘‘I have gained skills from training such as teamwork, leadership, conflict and conflict management. These challenged me to compete for leadership positions in my group.” Nafula was successful in her leadership conquest and became the chairperson of the Nakisunga women’s group, an achievement she attributes to capacity development attained from all the training offered by KWDT. In addition to her role as a chairperson, Nafula is a member of the Loans Committee and the Women Advocacy Club (WAC).
Figure 2: From left to right: Sarah Nafula with some of her group members
As a member of the Loans Committee, Nafula receives airtime worth UGX 10,000 every month from KWDT. The airtime is distributed on her Airtel and MTN numbers from which she purchases monthly voice bundles. “My responsibility to collect payments extends beyond the micro-credit program as I demand repayment on resources that are acquired on credit like tanks and cows. I also collect water user fees to ensure our water sources are maintained and repaired on time. This airtime has been very useful as I don’t have to walk long distances to contact the beneficiaries. They are often reachable through phone calls”, Nafula explains. Additionally, Nafula utilizes some of this airtime to communicate with community councillors to inquire about the dates for Sub-county council meetings. She has been able to attend and advocate for the improvement in service delivery in her community at the Sub-county with fellow Women Advocacy Committee members in KWDT. Nafula remarks, ‘‘All this has given me a strong voice in the community and among fellow women which has improved my self-esteem and confidence.” Her confidence and self-esteem have contributed to her ability to deliver on her many roles as a leader and a member of the Nakisunga women’s group.
Figure 3: As a member of the Loans Committee, Nafula checks cash deposits from her group.
Figure 4: The daughter of Ms Sarah Nafula was inducted as a youth member in KWDT groups, WASH Committees
KWDT has always encouraged parents to involve their daughters and teach them how to do voluntary work thus ensuring sustainability of interventions emanating from the family unit. Nafula remarks, “My mission is to induct my 15-year-old daughter into the work of KWDT so that she can gain knowledge and surpass what I have been able to achieve.” Sarah remains grateful to KWDT for the work done in the community and amongst the groups.
The 15-year-old daughter of Miss Nafula, Shakira Nabukenya advocated for monitoring the number of girls who experience sexual harassment while fetching water which is in line with monitoring access to water in rural and fisher communities during a training funded by Women for Water Partnership (WfWP).