Mrs and Mr Mugerwa, Uganda
Mrs and Mr Mugerwa of Namayumba Epicentre have been partners with The Hunger Project-Uganda since 2004. Both have taken full advantage of numerous Hunger Project Vision, Commitment and Action Workshops (VCAWs) to continue to learn new and innovative ways of conducting business, generating income and empowering their family and community. As a result, they are thriving Hunger Project partners.
Among their many VCAW-inspired projects, the Mugerwas have established and run a dairy farm, a granary, a piggery, an underground well for their home, a banana plantation and a trading shop that serves several of the surrounding villages.
Mrs Mugerwa opened the trading shop in 2004, following an epicentre microfinance training, with an initial loan of UGX 300,000 (GB£66.5). “I invested [the loan] in poultry. Later I took another loan and, together with the profits from the poultry, acquired a heifer which began to generate income with the milk sales.” Her continuously successful loan repayment has led to an improved status within the epicentre bank (WWFFI SACCO) and a growing personal business.
The dairy farm houses thirty heifers which produce an average of 20 litres of milk each. With each litre fetching an average of UGX 500 (GB£0.11), the dairy income is allocated to the operational costs of maintaining the farm and home costs.
Combined profits from the trading shop, dairy farm and an additional VCAW on Food Production and Food Security motivated the Mugerwas to construct a granary at their home. In addition to providing storage for their own food, the granary provides them with room enough for bulk storage, leading Mr. Mugerwa to begin a business of bulk purchasing and sales. They currently have over 1,500 kgs of maize stored and awaiting sale.
One of the Mugerwas’ most recent additions is an underground well for their home. After attending a Water, Sanitation and Environment Workshop, they were able to part with UGX 2,000,000 (GB£443.5) to construct the well. “We never run out of clean water at home,” Mrs Mugerwa proudly states. “It’s one of the best choices we made and I don’t regret it. The initial cost may raise concern to one but, believe me, after five months, one realises their money’s worth and the structure will be there eternally.”
Their numerous successes have enabled the Mugerwas to build a permanent house, complete with solar panels for energy conservation, to send their children to school full-time and to begin plans to expand their shop and dairy farm. Mrs Mugerwa plans to send all of the children to university with their ever-increasing savings.
“My husband and I are change agents inspiring people to end their own hunger and poverty,” she said.
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