By providing microloans, business training, and ongoing technical support to struggling South Sudanese women refugees in Uganda, we empower them to start small businesses and create a better life for their families.
Many South Sudanese women living as squatters in slums in the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda, are single mothers supporting three or more children—their own off-spring, the children of relatives, war orphans, or children separated from their families. Because jobs for unskilled and uneducated refugees are scarce, their best hope for supporting their families is creating and operating their own tiny enterprise. Without assets and referrals, however, these women cannot obtain credit from a mainstream bank to fuel their productivity. Making matters worse, few refugees, let alone single mothers, can afford the school fees to send their children to school.
Hope Ofiriha’s Uganda Microloans Project provides interest-free loans of $100 to $250 to women refugees to use to start their own small business. The project also organizes monthly borrower meetings where women receive business training and ongoing technical support. Once loans are repaid, they are recycled to become another loan and then another. Our goal is to eventually serve up to 1,000 women.
Potential Long-Term Impact
Putting money in the hands of women refugees turns them into self-sufficient entrepreneurs who can put food on the table and afford to send their children to school. As more women thrive, they create a ripple effect helping lift their entire community out of poverty in the long-term.