Standing alone in a green field is a plastered building with red iron sheets. This building is the materialization of success for Turwanye Bukyene Cooperative Credit and Saving Society. It is also a symbol of hope, and a stable future for the members of this SACCO.
“We built this building with our own hands. Every brick was laid by us”. Gashumba Tarasis, the Chairman of Turwanye Bukyene SACCO, reminisces as he touches the walls of the SACCO’s Gran Store. Gashumba like all the other 90 members of the SACCO are refugees. Coming with next to nothing, they have been able to rebuild their lives in the Oruchinga settlement.
The first seed was sown when Gashumba and a few of the original SACCO members participated in a Credit creation and management training organized by HIJRA. In this training, the members were given the knowledge and support to start-up a SACCO to enable them to be able to develop.
“We decided to train refugees in creation and management of saving schemes so that they could work together as opposed to working individually to grow their wealth,” Daphne, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer explained.
In 2014, the members created the SACCO after a drought that had Isingiro district on its knees. More members joined the SACCO, making it one of the most successful saving groups in the settlement camp.
With a donation in form of materials from HIJRA, the group was able to construct the Grain store. “We are happy that HIJRA gave us the materials for the Grain store”, Gashumba explained. “The SACCO members can now store their harvests. This is a way for us to ensure food security.”
Activities like SACCO training have given refugees hope. These activities have enabled the 6000+ refugees settled in Oruchinga to once again control their destiny, and develop themselves, their families, and their community. The SACCO training is under HIJRA’s Livelihoods programme, whose aim is to create activities and opportunities for refugees to develop, become self-reliant and enrich their livelihoods.