We’re back in Kampala after having spent an amazing three days in a little village in Mityana district, which is to the west. CRED Foundation was involved in supporting John set up a Microfinance project in the village a year or so back, and this week the microfinance community was given the opportunity to put forward projects for a pot of money that we brought out. It was based roughly on the Dragon’s Den type idea, and on our first afternoon we had 14 projects and ideas presented to us. They included ideas around expanding a kindergarten, starting a fish farm, developing a mushroom farm, starting a craft school, drying fruit to reduce waste and bee-keeping.
Our team then selected 6 of the projects to take to the next stage, and on Friday morning we met with the individuals to talk through what they needed to focus on in their final presentations. The criteria was that the projects were unique and benefited the community.
Finally on our last morning, we heard the 6 presentations and decided on splitting the funds between two projects that stood out. Kosmos has recently been learning about bee-keeping and is wanting to increase his protective kit and invest in some packaging so he can sell honey in the local towns, rather than just going door-to-door with a bucket of honey and honeycomb. From the four hives that he already has, the neighbouring coffee growers and veg growers have noticed an increase in their crops, due to the increased pollination. A great community benefit!
Secondly we chose Rose who was wanting to purchase a solar powered drying machine to dry pumpkins and mangoes and such like. They grow in gluts and lots of fruit is wasted as they can’t eat it all. She will be able to dry gluts of fruit and also make pumpkin flour. She’ll sell the dried fruit at a reduced price to the locals and charge more in the local towns. Others will also be able to use the machine. So both great environmental impact ideas and close to my heart!
It was so exciting to hear all the different ideas, and the hard work that they all put into everything they do. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly, and I’ve never had the level of interest in a book-keeping conversation, as I did under the mango tree.