Amolatar MP, Dr. Agnes Apea Empowers Village Savings Groups with UGX 135 Million

The Woman Member of Parliament for Amolatar, Dr. Agnes Atim Apea, has injected a boost of financial support worth UGX 135 million into village savings groups.

Dr. Apea’s initiative is aimed at enhancing the lending capacity of these groups and encouraging a culture of saving. A total of 480 groups within the district are set to benefit from this support, which aims to uplift the livelihoods of their members.

Addressing the challenges of poverty persisting within Uganda’s farming community, where 39% continue to rely on subsistence agriculture, Dr. Apea highlighted the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) concept as a powerful tool for improving the conditions of impoverished households. The concept, however, faces challenges resulting from prevailing mindsets that sometimes lead to the misuse of savings for celebratory occasions.

As a development expert, Dr. Apea shared her insights on how the VSLA concept could thrive with a shift in mentality. As part of her initiative, she presented a symbolic cheque of UGX 135 million, along with 480 saving boxes and UGX 100,000 for each of the 480 groups in Amolatar.

Amolatar district, consisting of 581 villages, has witnessed the training of 558 village groups in financial literacy and business development under the guidance of Uganda Microfinance. Dr. Apea has pledged her unwavering commitment to extend both technical and financial support to a total of 900 groups in the district. This effort aims to empower these groups economically and maximize the effective utilization of government funds designated to alleviate poverty.

Dr. Apea underscored the necessity for a cultural transformation that embraces the values of hard work, investment, and savings. She highlighted a common challenge in Northern Uganda, where impatience and hesitance to invest in long-term ventures have hindered progress.

The Zonal Manager of Micro Finance Support Centre Lira, Nabadda Mable, recognized the substantial contribution of the Village Savings program to small businesses. However, she pointed out the persisting challenge of poor record-keeping and highlighted the significance of building capacity within communities.

Local beneficiaries expressed their gratitude for the timely support. Mrs. Evelyn Odongo, Chairperson of the “Par Pi Anyim” group, shared that the VSLA initiative had not only brought peace to their families but also enabled them to meet their family needs and establish small businesses.

Stela Ajalo of the “Mon Onote” Group highlighted the initiative’s positive impact on their lives, allowing them to afford their children’s school fees and underscoring education’s role in securing a brighter future.

Dr. Agnes Apea’s unwavering dedication to transforming Amolatar’s farming landscape through the promotion of perennial crops and responsible financial practices promises to uplift the local community and contribute significantly to the ongoing battle against poverty.


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