My name is Otim Sam. I am 35 years old, a resident of Kasonga village in Kyangwali refugee settlement. Am also the secretary of Hope For Tomorrow VSLA in Kasonga. We always save on Friday and our share costs 2000/= the maximum amount of shares bought by a member per sitting is 5 shares. Our social fund amount is 500/= which is compulsory to be paid by all members whether present or absent per sitting.
Our group begun with 39 members, 15males and 24 females on 22nd September 2016 after being mobilized by KRC staff, who introduced us to Village savings and loans association. After the first training, I mobilized the people in our neighborhood with similar interests and we begun, under the guidance of KRC staff who taught us how to fill our pass books, loan repayment books, enter our shares in our records book and other things necessary for the growth of our groop.
KRC went further supported us with the VSLA kit which comprised; the VSLA Box, Stamp, pass books and Records book. At the beginning things never went well and we couldn’t believe that we could reach this far because we only depended on farming as a major source of income and remember farming is seasonal, that means we only had money to save on a seasonal basis and we had nothing to save during off season. But as our VSLA was growing KRC sensitized us on the benefits of taking loans for better reasons, how they can develop our group and us as members since our interest rate is lower compared to other profit making financial institutions.
Currently, at least 50% of the members have taken loans from our VSLA and begun some small businesses which supplements farming as our main source of income. This also has shown visible improvement in our VSLA because there is some consistency in savings even when we are off season unlike before. You can even see we have been able to save 326,000/= and a social fund of 17,000/= today,11/08/2017.
Ever since we begun saving on the date mentioned above we have managed to save 12,926,000/= out of which 4.350.000/= is still in loans and paid in installments as our constitution suggests. I take this opportunity on behalf of my fellow members to recognize the support KRC is rendering to our community and us as farmers to improve our household income.