Survival Was Our Aim

Beebwa Grace is a mother of 5 and a member of Tuvumiliye VSLA in Kiryandongo District, Uganda.

“My husband and I have always spent most of our time cultivating our garden, as this is the only sustainable way to get food here in our village. I found it very hard to educate our eldest daughter because we had no support from elsewhere, and all of our income was from subsistence farming. Survival was our aim for each day, and it was difficult to access basic everyday necessities – one meal a day was all that we could afford to eat. We even had to sell a small piece of land (the basis of our livelihood) so that our daughter could complete her ordinary level certificate (year 10 equiv.). Sending the other children to school became very hard.

The introduction of VSLA project in our village was a great relief for me. After the first savings cycle, including interest I received 145,000 Shillings (£35). This made it possible for me to invest in a livestock business of goats. I buy goats from the village at a low price and resell them in the nearby town at a higher price.

I am now able to pay fees and materials for my children to stay in school, and can provide for our domestic needs. This has encouraged me to save more in order to receive more money at the end of the cycle. We have enough food for our children, and are sure that they will all be able to study up to Advanced Level Certificate (A Level equiv.).

I hope to raise enough money to expand and diversify, and include cattle in my business.

My dream is to increase agricultural production, by injecting more energy and money to reach commercial production, to ensure food security for the family.”