2021年1月17日日曜日

【Microcredit Project】Implementation of the microcredit project Progress brief (December 2020)

The project begun on 10th December 2020 and the following actions were conducted;

l  Identified and trained 12 youths (6 female 6 male) in bakeries

Hired a trainer who agreed to provide apprenticeship training to a team of 12 youth for 2 weeks. These would thereafter be left to work on the own 

<Inputs bought>

l  Wheat

l  Cooking oils

l  Sugar

l  Salt

l  Baking powder

l  And other ingredients

l  Uniforms (SORAK Executive Director dressed in the factory wear at the start of SORAK bakery)

 
       








<Bread Production>

l  Commenced on production by using 75 kg of wheat per day to bake read


Wheat mixer mixing dough for weighing


Flattening wheat dough making it ready 


Sliced dough ready for frying into doughnuts

Frying in progress


 Ready bread


Breads and doughnuts for sale


Marketing team in the field selling ready bread and doughnuts

<Achievements at this point>

l  So far made 4 rounds of baking and have raised 700,000 UGX in sales.

l  We have innovatively made bread and half cakes flavored with lemon grass essential oil. This has been liked by most consumers though some do not use/consume lemon grass flavor.

l  Market readily available –There is ready market and demand as the people who have tested our products have liked it.

l  We only now need to distribute to other areas. We also need to increase on the output in order to be able to make profits.

<Improvement needed>

l  Marketing –In order to reach a wider market, not only walk able distances but also within the district and the neighboring areas/districts.  There is an urgent need for getting means of transport. A pickup truck with a built up container will be ideal for accelerated distribution and marketing of SORAK Bread and related products.

l  We need to bake much more wheat and many more rounds in order to make profit

l  The wood powered oven was substandard we have had to break it for a bigger and better one

l  Water supply to the factory is still a challenge as our pump engine is old bought in 2013 now needs a replacement 


*This project is supported by GBN's self-fund including personal donations!

The List of Reports of “Economic empowerment of girls, women and youth through micro credit driven entrepreneurship in Uganda”

 Project Overview




1 December 2020





*This project is supported by GBN's self-fund including personal donations!


2021年1月9日土曜日

The Story of Mozambique (Vol.1) Miho Yokota


This is Miho Yokota of Global Bridge Network (GBN). I would like to talk about a very attractive country, Mozambique where I lived for 9 years from 2009 to 2018.

 

At Bondoia village, Moamba district in 2010


About Mozambique

Mozambique is a country located in Southern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east. The land area of Mozambique is about twice of Japan, and its population is 29,490 thousand (2018, World Bank). Same as Japan, Mozambique is a long country that extends north to south, and the culture, language, climate are different from North to South.

Red circles are Uganda and Mozambique

History

In 1498, Vasco da Gama (Portuguese) arrived at Mozambique, and the Portuguese colonized Mozambique for more than 300 years. Thus, the official language of Mozambique is Portuguese. In 1962, Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO) was established, and Mozambique achieved independence in June 25, 1975. However, Mozambique was suffered from the fires of the civil war, which was the proxy war between the Soviet Union and the U.S. during 17 years (1975-1992).

 

 An unexploded bomb found at Chinhanguanine in 2009


On October 4, 1992 General Peace Agreement for Mozambique was signed. Japan dispatched Self-Defense Forces units and other personnel to the United Nations Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ) from 1993 to 1995 to serve as staff officers, movement control units, and election observers.

After the civil war, postwar reconstruction and economic and social development have progressed under a relatively stable political situation. However, a lot of weapons from the Soviet Union, the U.S. and other countries were left in the hands of the citizens.

Conflicts between FRELIMO and the opposition party RENAMO have continued even after the civil war. On August 1, 2019, President Filipe Nyusi and RENAMO leader signed a peace agreement bringing an end to the six year conflict. However new threats to peace arose in October 2017.

Relationship between Japan and Mozambique

In the 16th century, a tall African man arrived in Japan and served missionary of the Society of Jesus who propagated Christianity in Japan. Oda Nobunaga was interested in his black skin and asked to wash his body to see if the black color declines. Oda Nobunaga liked him, and he became the first foreign-born man to achieve the status of a samurai named Yasuke. Yasuke was considered as a Mozambican. His checkered life story is the subject of a film being produced by Hollywood.


Nanban Byobu of the 16th century

Peace Building Activities in Mozambique

Japan contributed to building peace in Mozambique after the civil war (1975-1992) in another way. During the civil war, many weapons were brought from the U.S., Soviet Union and many other countries. Discharged soldiers personally obtained weapons, thus many weapons left in their hands. More than 6 million AK47 (Soviet assault rifle) existed in Mozambique and many flew into South Africa (as weapons in the Mozambican black market were much cheaper than that of South Africa).  

 A rusted gun collected in Chinhanguanine village, Moamba district 

 

The Mozambique government supported TAE (Transforming Arms into Plowsharesproject to maintain public peace and illegal flow of weapons to neighboring countries. 

About TAE project

A Mozambican Anglican priest, Denis S. Sengulane advocated the project, and a NGO CCM (Christian Council of Mozambique) conducted jointly with the police and he military. This project is disarmament initiative that exchanges weapons for development tools (such as bicycles, pedal sewing machines, construction materials, cement and zinc sheets etc.)

Japanese citizens’ organizations including Ehime Global Network (EGN) supported TAE project by sending relief supplies such as abandoned bicycles. Since 2000, EGN has sent 760 abandoned bicycles provided by Matsuyama city without counter value and other relief supplies including donated school materials in order to support TAE project. Bicycles were used to exchange with weapons and as a means of transportation for students of Bondoia 
elementary school in Malengane area, Moamba district.  


Bicycles sent from Matsuyama city and students of Bondoia elementary school


Weapons in good conditions can be sold for several hundred US dollar in black markets in Mozambique. It would be precious income for poor citizens. Also it would be a risk for citizens who experienced civil war to relinquish arms. Therefore CCM conducted peace education = disarmament of the mind as well as improvement of living standard of communities based on peace. For example CCM constructed water wells, local clinics, or elementary schools in the communities which cooperated to collect weapons.


Guns collected in Northern provinces


 Between 1995 and 2012, CCM collected more than 2 million weapons (including small arms, landmines, hand grenade, rocket bomb etc.) and those weapons were destroyed so that they can never be used again. The collected weapons might be a mere part of the total. However, the fact that a NGO and citizens continually tackled to build peace must be important.

It is quoted from a speech on October 4th 2012, at the 20th anniversary of peace ceremony in Maputo. “Peace cannot be maintained without effort. Citizen’s constant efforts brought about current peace in Mozambique. Mozambicans have to make further effort to achieve peace.”

I appreciate your reading my story all the way through.


 (Continue to Vol.2)

 


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2020年12月26日土曜日

【Microcredit Project】A new project Started!

 Economic empowerment of girls, women and youth through microcredit driven entrepreneurship –Mubende

 


 -Background and Challenges to be addressed:

In rural Mubende, more than 80% of youth and women are self employed as farmers, petty jobs, and petty business. Majority of these have no access to credit that is badly needed to boast their income generating activities. This is due to lack of collateral security that is required in commercial banks and credit institutions for them to acquire loans. Youth and women in Mubende and beyond have ended up living a subsistence life. Girls and women are forced into either forced marriage or informal activities like commercial sex. They cannot afford basics of life namely food, medical care, clothing, scholastic materials among others.

In the targeted communities, 60% of the population leave below poverty line (earning 2$ per day) Their vulnerability is worsened by the fact that about 40% of households are women, widow, child or grandparent headed. Such households need support to improve their incomes.

Low cost credit provided by not for profit organizations like SORAK is less costly is the best choice for such populations. Microcredit given to women and youth has the ability of providing an opportunity to invest in profitable income generating activities. They will be advanced money ranging from 50,000 UGX to 200,000 in groups of 5 youth and or women and this money could be used to start and income generating activity like market vending, making of chapatis, buying and raising a piglet etc. SORAK will accompany this with entrepreneurship training to ensure that the money is put into proper use. Each of the group will be required to repay the money within 6 months.

On the other hand, SORAK as a means of sustaining the organization as well as economic empower girls, youth and women impact by COVID -19, has established a bakery and jelly production and training centre. This is at its final stages to start production but bad need extra funding for the needed startup raw materials and marketing. We passed the market research stage where SORAK made mosquito repellant jelly with lemon grass essential oil, supplied to the potential buyers whose feedback in so encouraging. SORAK is thus motivated to contribute some money and invest into this empowering as well as income generating activity. SORAK will also use part of the money to support the bakery and jelly making and training centre for girls and women. This will further enhance their skills better livelihoods.

 

SORAK's factory to start bakery and jelly production and training

The wheat mixer

Energy saving jelly boilers

 Preliminary training in entrepreneurship to receive and make use of SORAK Credit

 Participation of youth and women groups

-Project Goal:

To contribute to sustainable income generation for beneficiaries of SORAK’s interventions.

 

-Project Summary:

SORAK seeks to given microcredit to youths and women groups as well as utilizing strengthening the bakery and jelly making production and training for entrepreneur.

 

-Target place:

This project will be implemented targeting youth and women in the sub county of Kibalinga, Mubende district where SORAK offices and bakery and jelly production units are located. This however has opportunity to grow and expand with time as production and demand increases with time after the end of donor credit support.

 

-Target people:

A total of 150 youth (80 females and 70 males) and 100 women will be supported to both access credit and or participate in bakery and jelly training and production. These are individuals who will be engaged over a 1 year period. Some will be trained and employed in bakery and jelly making. They will later have those skills for the rest of their lives. This project targets active youth and women who are willing to; access the credit and makes use of it by way of investing it in productive and profitable enterprises in order to improve their wellbeing. It also targets those who have already shown interest to join SORAK bakery and jelly making and training.

 

 -Activities:

Activities proposed here are those that will be implemented at the start of bakery and jelly product production. These are proposed will understanding that SORAK has already done all the needed investment in terms of housing, machinery, water supply, mould and what is remaining are the, marketing, human resource and start up raw materials.

The activities of the project will include;

1-     Procure materials needed to start bakery and jelly production

2-     Mobilization and capacity building of youth and women groups and prepare them to receive and effectively utilize the credit

3-     Identify and select youth and women to participate and benefit in bakery and jelly making and training

4-     Make, blend, brand and pack and sale/market bakery and jelly products

 

-Methods of Microcredit Project and Fund:

Over all SORAK will be provided funding from Global Bridge Network(GBN) in form of a loan that is repayable at the end of 2 years. This money will be used by SORAK to both strengthen her bakery and jelly production and training unit. It will also be used to extend credit to carefully selected youth and women. These will also be provided with relevant training to ensure that they effectively and impactful utilize the provided credit.

There will be 2 methods of this credit management;

1-Beneficiaries will be organized into groups of 5 persons. They will be given credit to implement a jointly agreed up on enterprise whose startup 50$. Not all these people will receive credit at once. This is a targeted number to receive credit over 2 year’s time. The 1000$ is budget allocation to be given out in credit in small groups of 5 persons, for instance 1000$ can be given out to 20 groups at a go(50$x20=1000). This credit will be refundable on a monthly basis at a simple interest of 2-5% per month depending on the purpose of the loan and the risks involved in recovering it.  The interest generated will be used to meet administrative costs as well as reserving some for repayment back to GBN.

2- Some funds will be reserved in SORAK bakery and jelly production. It is anticipated that this will provide the badly and urgently needed startup capital more especially for inputs that will see the factory takeoff. This will supplement the already invest capital in tools, production equipment (mould) building modification, plumbing and sanitation. 

 Lastly, here SORAK anticipates making good use of the funds, generating revenue that will be used to run the production as well as having excess/profit that can be used to refund to GBN.


*This project is supported by GBN's self-fund including personal donations!

2020年9月23日水曜日

【Staff Report】Situation about corona in Uganda

Bike taxi driver wearing mask 

As the COVID-19 pandemic snowballs, the day-to-day reality has created a nightmarish situation in developed and developing economies. Although to date Uganda has got around 6,468 confirmed cases which also includes 2,731 recoveries with 63 deaths (as of Sep 22, 2020). The latest number is see this link 

https://www.health.go.ug/covid/?fbclid=IwAR0F4Mungnedub9g9kCGCnJsa6I-9ZMdWLiIIB9gDdv8zxYzEqqg8PlnNw4 

Which is not quite bad. The numbers of those acquiring the virus and associated death globally is alarming. The impact of the pandemic is already taking a toll on communities already vulnerable or marginalized – the poor, the rural, the illiterate, women and girls. 

Right now Uganda’s situation about corona could be of a high risk. Not because cases are so many compared to the other countries, but If you get sick in Uganda and need medical care, resources may be limited. A lockdown was imposed in Uganda by the end of March. The president extended its period for another 21 days on top of the 14 days. This lock down period continued from April 15 to May 5, 2020. Masks became mandatory in public in May while restrictions started to ease in July.

Town: empty in Kampala (capital city)

Town: Light traffic

Town: Very quiet

As a precautionary measure, on 18 March, the President banned all public gatherings, incoming and outgoing travel to specified highly affected counties and up-to-date, the airport hasn’t yet been reopened. But rumor has it, it’ll be soon reopening. Schools have been closed and now students are trying out to access their education via e-learning. A situation so tough for many Ugandans amidst the challenges in accessing the internet.

Up until May 5, 2020, most businesses had to remain closed. Food markets remained open, but many vendors were unable to return home and had to sleep in markets due to the suspension of public transport. A small number of businesses such as factories, garages, hardware shops, metalworks and restaurants for takeaway were allowed to reopen on May 5, while others such as hair salons and business arcades remained closed until July 27. But as per now they are all starting to open up slowly by slowly. 


Food distribution

Washing hands

People wearing masks 

Due to the high level of informality in Uganda's economy, it is not yet possible to assess the full magnitude of the economic impact of the lockdown, but the consequences for incomes and poverty are likely severe. Research results from July 2020 show that many informal entrepreneurs in Kampala (Capital city in Uganda) had no income at all during the lockdown, and hence had to dip into their own savings, rely on government food support, or ask for help from family or friends to survive.

Due to corona, a lot is really happening and nobody knows when this corona saga will be ending but every day that comes by. 


We just keep praying that everything gets better soon.


Sekitto Arafat
Executive Mobilizer
Sep 23, 2020


http://globalbridgenetwork.org/en/