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WMI's Southwestern Uganda Loan Program Operations

"My way of life has improved because I can get what my heart wants."

- A WMI Borrower in Kabale

Kabale Uganda WMI BorrowerIn October of 2010, WMI launched a loan hub in Kabale, Uganda to help improve the lives of women and families who live in the impoverished region. Kabale is near both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and is affected by the surrounding political and resource-fueled conflict. By collaborating with the Mpambara-Cox Foundation, which supports Kabale primary schools, and by partnering with the village-level E. Lushaya Women's Group to operate the loan program, WMI has created positive changes in household living standards, health and nutrition, and the local economy.

WMI Impact Southwestern Uganda

WMI Impact in Southwestern Uganda

Through WMI loans and business training, rural women have increased the productivity of their businesses and improved their standard of living as well.

Before joining the WMI loan program:

  • 95% of borrowers earned less than $1,000/year
  • The average annual income was $470

After 18 months in the loan program:

  • 87% of borrowers earn over $1,000/year
  • The average annual income increased from $470 to $1,575
    This is an increase in earning power of over 300%

Community Programs

Abahara Empowerment and HIV Prevention Program

WMI assisted in funding the Abahara Empowerment and HIV Prevention group at Kasinde Primary School. The group met weekly for 12 weeks to empower 6th and 7th grade girls to engage in conversations about responsible behaviors and life skills. Many of the girls in the group are daughters of women enrolled in the micro loan program. The group educated girls on how to resist the negative pressures of engaging in sexual acts, and helped them to build a community support system to guide them in making good decisions.

ELWG Member Testimony

ELWG Member TestimonyMedius Twesigye of Kabale is 32 years old and received her first loan in October 2011. During WMI business training she listened intently to learn the skills needed to grow her business successfully.

Although she is married, Medius' husband does not live in the house and she takes care of her 3 children herself. Before entering the loan program, she lived in a semi-permanent house with only 2 rooms and a radio. Her annual income was just about $275/year.

In the 18 months since her first loan, her annual income has increased over 150% to $740/year. She says that "I can get school fees, food, and clothes for my children... life is much better and the future looks bright."

Region Background

Southwestern Uganda Loan OperationsWMI's loan hub in southwestern Uganda is based in the town of Kabale, which is located in the Kabale District. It is a mountainous region that is not only known for its national parks where tourists can see mountain gorillas, but also its proximity to both Rwanda and the Congo.

Kabale it is only a few miles away from Katuna, a town located on the Rwandan border, and is just a few hours from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Southwestern Uganda is constantly impacted by the upheaval and chaos in its neighboring countries. Despite the end of the Second Congo War and the Rwandan genocide, sporadic fighting in these neighboring regions persists. As a result, Congolese and Rwandan refugees continue to seek safety in Uganda.

Some sources estimate the number of displaced persons in Uganda to be over 2 million. The conflict in the wake of the DRC elections in early July 2013, forced over 60,000 refugees to flee into southwest Uganda. WMI is helping women and families in the region maintain stable households through regular income generation.

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