NEWS– The Church of Uganda in partnership with Dan Church Aid (DCA) and funding from DANIDA has rolled out cash distribution for selected Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) in Kumi Diocese as part of the Interfaith Action for Gender and Economic Justice program being implemented in the area.
According to Ms Irene Anena the Church of Uganda Provincial Program Officer for gender and social justice, the economic aspect of this program was introduced as a result of learning from the previous engagement where poverty was identified as one of the root causes of gender based violence.
“Church of Uganda has been implementing the gender justice program for the last three years and in this new phase, we thought economic empowerment is very critical because one of the root causes of GBV is poverty. Unless we tackle household poverty, the cases of Gender Basd Violence will remain high. This program is part of Church of Uganda’s efforts to reduce women and girls vulnerability to GBV” Ms Anena said.
The cash distribution exercise which kicked off yesterday in Kumi and Bukedea districts which form Kumi Diocese will see twelve VSLA’s supported with seed capital of Ugx 1 Million per group to invest in income generating activities selected by the groups supported.
Prior to the distribution of the seed capital, the groups were trained in selection and management of enterprises, group dynamics and sensitisation on Gender Based Violence prevention and response.
Whole speaking at the cash distribution exercise held in Kumi town for Aimorikikina Women’s group and Kumi Church workers Family Advocacy group today morning, Bishop Michael Okwii Esakahn, the Bishop of Kumi Diocese charged beneficiaries to follow their business plans and ensure proper accountability and transparency.
He commended members for being organised and creatively addressing issues that affect the communities in which they live.
“When you are organised, you benefit more and develop together. Every person has the responsibility of ensuring that our communities become what we desire them to be. Now that Church of Uganda and Dan Church Aid have come to support you, invest wisely. I will be monitoring the program myself.” Bishop Esakahn said.
According to the Church of Uganda Provincial Communications Officer Sadiiki Adams Mugume, groups benefitting from this development are, Moru United, Kumi Church Workers and family advocacy group, Aimorikikina women’s group, Amunokinos group, Apetor Ican group, Kojari United, Aimorikikina Bazaar, Kachede, Al-Haki group, Akukuranati group, Kodiata Ingai and Itee Edeke group.
Ms Anena, appealed to the groups to ensure the money is put into the right use and also encouraged them to ensure collective responsibility of the selected enterprises so that other families and communities can emulate them be equally be productive.
“I encourage all the members to be a source of inspiration to other members in the community by having model homes and families, working hard to ensure food security,shelter and capacity to meet the health and educational needs for your children and plan on having manageable families” Ms Anena said.
She called upon beneficiaries to ensure good hygiene and sanitation in their homes and have equitable gender relations by planning together and sharing roles and decisions for the good of their families.