The Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has donated sh20 million towards the establishment of Lira City Women SACCO.
The cash donation was handed over to the Lira City Woman MP Jane Aceng Ocero who is also the Minister of Health by Mary Goretti Kitutu, the Minister for Karamoja Affairs during the belated women’s day celebration on Saturday. Kitutu who herself donated Shs.2m was representing Anita Among as the chief guest at the function.
The donation is meant to help the women in Lira City start and register a SACCO under which they can offer financial support to their smaller women groups as well as access government programs like the Parish Development Module (PDM).
Kitutu, also the Woman MP for Manafwa district argued that women can only benefit from government programs and fight poverty if they are in groups, citing examples of women SACCOs in Manafwa that are able to acquire loans from Uganda Development Bank at a low-interest rates.
Similarly, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero called on women to embrace the SACCO initiative and the government’s PDM in order to fight poverty within their households.
The donation has excited women, especially those already under different groups. Caroline Adongo, a member of Lango Women Awaken group says if the money is given to their groups, they will be able to develop like women in other areas.
Ventrice Okello, the treasurer at Nen-anyim women’s group says the donation will increase their capital and help them to purchase more income-generating properties like tents and chairs for hire and prosper in business.
However, Jenny Alobo a member of Adekokwok Women Saving Group expressed fears about the success of the SACCO saying some women do not want to pay back the money they received through the association.
But Rebecca Alwedo, the deputy mayor of Lira City appealed to the government to restore Uganda Women Entrepreneurial Program (UWEP) because it had benefited so many women in terms of small businesses.
In collaboration with Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Ltd (UWEAL), UDB will offer 50 to 100 million loans to women entrepreneurs. This money is to be broken down into smaller packages and ultimately redistributed to 2 million women.