Activities of Obanga Twero Youth Association (YA) in Kiryandongo District have started to influence the local economy in Kisura Trading center where the YA has established its business management unit.
The cohort one YA that started with 30 members experienced difficulties and lost half of their members to attrition with many getting married and a few returning to school.
With 15 resilient and active members remaining, the group changed from piggery incubation provided by YETA and went in to maize growing where they earn about UGX 2,000,000 (USD 544) per season since 2017 and used this income to buy a commercial plot measuring 223 feet by 76 feet in Kisura center.
Owing to cordial relationship established with the Kiryandongo District local government through the project regional advisory committee (RAC), the group easily benefited from a government loan of UGX 10,000,000 (USD 2721) from Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) and established two grinding mills in the same trading center causing a decline in milling costs from UGX 150 (USD 0.040) to 100 (USD 0.027) per kilo enhancing value addition to maize, sorghum and millet.
Currently, the YA earns an average of UGX 1,000,000 (USD 272) per month from the mills. They are repaying the loan in installments and are currently remaining with a balance of UGX 2,400,000 (USD 653) to fully clear their loan obligation.
With an active VSLA with a current portfolio of more than UGX 5,000,000 (USD 1360); most of it out as loan, the YA continues to lend to members and other nonmembers and has enabled many people in the community to get quick loans repayable in short terms of between 1-3 months at 5% per month.
The 15 member YA has also bought and trained a pair of oxen worth 1,900,000 for ploughing as CBSP where they expect to make an estimated UGX 400,000 (USD 109) per week during planting seasons. Currently, many community members have already booked their oxen for the next planting season that starts in August.
After private sector linkage, the YA opened and maintains an account at Post Bank with 10 out of 15 members running personal Bank accounts in the same Commercial Bank. The YA continues to enjoy use of USSD mobile app provided by Post Bank which has minimized their costs of travelling to the Banking Hall that is more than 25 kms away.
To date, the YA is in the final stages of becoming an agent of Post Bank and will soon start providing mobile agency banking services to the community.
With income from all these sources, The YA has constructed three huts where they earn monthly income of UGX 15,000 (USD 4.1) from each unit and plan to construct more to solve the housing deficit in the community where many people are casual labourers for large farms in the neighboring areas.
Drawing from their group name; Obanga Twero which means “God is able”, the YA plans to construct a store where they will establish a produce buy and sell business and plan to expand their business to more than a value more UGX 50,000,000 (USD 13,605) in the next three or four years.