The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

Post Fistula Women's Revolving Loan Program - Masaka, Uganda

Grant Information
Categories Community , Education , Peace
Location International
Cycle Year 2019
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) MicroFinancing Partners in Africa (MPA)
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name Shawna Brinson
Phone 3147731319
4949 Columbia Avenue
St. Louis
Additional Information
Used for This money will be used for small loans in the MPA's Post Fistula Women's Revolving Loan Program, which helps women living in extreme poverty in Masaka, Uganda. Allocations are made to new microfinance groups, which generally have 15-20 members. Each initial loan from the group is an average of $50, approved by the group committee for the member to begin a small business or pursue a skill as an income opportunity.
Benefits These grant funds will benefit the world by directly fostering microfinance as an income and business development opportunity for post fistula women in Uganda. It will create more stable and peaceful Ugandan communities as it enables women to better feed and educate their children, plus pay for medication and home improvements (clean water, electricity, etc.) through a sustainable income opportunity. It will also have a positive ripple effect as repaid loans are then reallocated and repaid over and over, creating an ongoing and escalating impact over time.
Proposal Description Our proposed program for grant support is MPA's Post Fistula Women's Revolving Loan Program. It was inspired by MPA's Piglets for the Post Fistula Women project, which provided training and community building around piggeries and pay-it-forward piglets for post fistula women in extreme poverty in Masaka, Uganda. The Post Fistula Women's Revolving Loan Program is an effort to support and engage groups of post fistula women in microfinance opportunities beyond animal husbandry. The overall goal of both programs is to provide income streams and community re-engagement for women in extreme poverty who have received reparative surgery for obstetric fistula. In most cases, their condition has left them destitute and ostracized for years, but these programs represent a path forward them as they heal In SWAP, this means developing small businesses such as tailoring, hairdressing, and catering. A need for these kinds of opportunities grew out of recognizing that not all Masaka post fistula women could handle livestock (religious/cultural reasons) and/or had other skills to potentially monetize if given the chance. In SWAP, Masaka women join small saving groups (15-20 people each) to collaborate on income projects by supporting each other, invest in themselves and provide community accountability for repayment and progress. The groups are based out of village health centers and managed by two part-time, locally-rooted program employees of MPA, also known as our "sandals-on-the-ground." These two hardworking women provide vital microfinance education, structure and other support to the women in these groups, who then internally manage accountability, loan terms, and repayment.

Common income goals among participating women include providing school fees for their children, making shelter improvements, and securing better household nutrition. By the end of 2019, ten women’s SWAP groups have been developed and thriving in Masaka. A 2019 site review by MPA reflected phenomenal results for a recently launched effort. Each group has approximately 15-20 women that are now engaged in projects and lending opportunities, for a total of 250 women. In 2020, an additional ten SWAP groups in Masaka are in the formative stages and intended to reach an additional 250 women. These will require initial funding for their loans and coordination via MicroFinancing Partners in Africa. Once operational, all of the groups are designed to be self-sustaining through loan repayment. The two support positions are being supported via general funds from MPA, so grant money would be applied to the loans to new group members, as SWAP is a scaleable project than can move forward with a flexible amount of foundation funding. Overall, all of MPA's microfinance groups maintain a steady evaluation/reporting schedule and site visits in order to ensure program quality, responsible funding stewardship and future eligibility for support of larger group income projects.