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Uganda: Loans help grandmothers start businesses


  Nyaka provides community-based solutions to address the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children in rural southwestern Uganda. We surround each child with a comprehensive support system. This is comprised of interrelated programs developed and led by our community, where children are nurtured and protected so they can learn, grow, and thrive.

The AIDS epidemic has been particularly cruel in Uganda, leading to massive loss of life and a generation of children without parents. By one estimate, more than 2 million children have been orphaned by the disease. Thousands of Ugandan grandmothers, ranging in age from 55 well into their 90’s, now find themselves caring for their grandchildren — often as many as six to a dwelling. To enable grandmothers to earn the means to support themselves and their families, the Nyaka Granny Microfinance Project was born, a program of the Nyaka AIDS Orphans Foundation (NAF).

Since 2014, Women’s Empowerment has proudly partnered with NAF to fund small business loans to these grandmothers in desperate need. Women receive loans that are the equivalent of $4 to $40. Thanks to charitable contributions, WE has provided $128,800 in loan and program funding, and $20,000 for water-harvesting tanks, to fulfill the urgent need for safe drinking water near homes in the villages. Today, 96 “Granny Groups” including more than 7,000 grandmothers are benefiting from WE funding and have started small, income-generating enterprises including making handicrafts; growing, harvesting and selling crops; and engaging in animal husbandry. Grandmothers are earning income and caring for their grandchildren, many of whom now attend local school.

Additional funds are needed to ensure that all grandmothers in need of business loans have access to funding.

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