More than 250 households have received vital food supplies thanks to women in two Self-Help Groups (SHGs) set up by Hope for Justice.
The female members of the saving groups – many of whom come from very poor and marginalised communities in eastern Uganda – took it upon themselves to mobilise residents and politicians to serve the most vulnerable.
A total of 40 SHG members from Namalogo, east of Mbale, contributed part of their own small food portions to help needy families.
They then reached out to other people in their communities, asking for donations of bananas, Irish potatoes, maize flour, beans and cassava – a root vegetable which is one of the country’s staple food crops.
A member of the Self-Help Group said: “With so little, we are able to bring smiles to the poor women and men in our communities. We have reduced the resultant domestic violence caused by lack of food. We have given lives to young children, thanks to the SHG Model.”
The women themselves contributed 100kg of beans, four bunches of matooke (a variety of starchy banana) and 50kg of maize flour.
Local leaders, including politicians and community members, generously gave 450kg of maize flour.
Lists of vulnerable households were presented to the leaders and, with support from the SHG members, door-to-door visits were conducted to make the food parcel deliveries.
A member of staff at Hope for Justice said: “The calls from the Self-Help Groups were heard and the people responded. It was a bumper crop. Each vulnerable household received 3kg of maize flour and 2kg of beans for the most in need. Cassava, bananas and Irish potatoes were also distributed to households with children aged under five.
“This is a fantastic example of Self-Help Groups being empowered and equipped to make change at a local level. All credit to these women who were able to mobilise their community to make a difference.”
Hope for Justice establishes SHGs as part of its work to prevent exploitation among some of the most vulnerable communities. Creating opportunities to increase autonomy and agency, and improving financial stability, has shown to reduce the likelihood of trafficking.