Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Care International vs the Ugandan government in microcredit services

The government of Uganda operates a microcredit program called the Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisations or SCCO's. The government lends money to each local SCCO at 9%, while the local lends out money to the people of Uganda at either 9 or 13 percent interest.

However, another service is operated by Care International which uses a savings and loan style to serve Ugandans. The service from Care has become more popular in some villages do to charges of corruption within the SCCO's. Also, some politicians are using the program as a political tool.

In the latest entry from The Guardian's Katine project, Joseph Malinga tells us about the problem with the SCCO's and why people are using Care International's service instead.

In Uganda, the success of the SACCO programme has been mixed. While the scheme appears to have been successful in western and central Uganda, it has faired less well in the east and north. And the programme has been tainted by corruption, with people's savings being embezzled with impunity.

Each sub-county is expected to have at least one SACCO that would be supported by government through the Uganda Cooperatives Savings and Credit Cooperative Union (UCSUC), the body mandated to oversee the success of the programme.

There is a SACCO in Katine, with a membership of 336, but any benefit of the programme, introduced two years ago, has yet to be fully realised in the sub-county.

It has been claimed that sub-county officials have failed to mobilise residents to benefit from the programme.

The chairman of Katine's SACCO, Sam Emolu, says: "We have a membership fee of Shs 2m, but without savings or anyone coming to borrow, our money is just redundant in the bank."

But Katine residents have embraced the village savings and loans associations (VSLAs) that have been introduced in sub-county as part of the Katine project, supervised by the NGO Care International.

The VSLAs are more affordable and residents have more control over their contributions. While SACCOs charge a registration fee of Shs 2,000 ($0.90) and Shs 5,000 for membership, VSLAs charge Shs 200 as a "disaster fee" (the money goes into a fund that can be accessed for emergencies) and Shs 500 for shares. A resident can buy as many shares as they want. Interest rates are high, at 10%.

Cornelius Onaba, the chairman of Emorikikons VSLA, in Olochoi village in Katine parish, says SACCOs are not suitable for the poor.

He says SACCOs exclude of the very needy who cannot afford to pay the fees. He said his VSLA group of 30 members has so far collected Shs 1.2m and all members are responsible for the security of their money.

"The keys to our safe [where money is kept] are with three people, while the box itself is with another person - so by the time you think of stealing, you really need to convince many people. Even then, we do not encourage money to be redundant. We try as much as possible to see that members borrow money and use it for development," he said.


Heather Young said...


I want to tell you and your readers about a great opportunity to show your support for global healthcare. A new, interactive website featuring the Catholic Medical Mission Board's renowned medical donation program allows you to include your name on a box of medical supplies that will be shipped to Zimbabwe at the end of this month -- just visit the Packed with Love website at www.PackedWithLove.org.

Last year alone, CMMB donated nearly $190 million worth of medical supplies -- free of charge and without discrimination -- and now they need our support. I hope you enjoy viewing www.PackedWithLove.org and consider sharing this campaign with your community!

I have included the press release below, but please feel free to contact me if you require any additional information.

Heather Young
See3 Communications

Support Catholic Medical Mission Board’s Medical Donation Program

Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB)—the leading U.S. based Catholic charitable organization focused exclusively on global healthcare—needs your support.

With all of the talk about lowering healthcare costs and providing service to more Americans, it’s easy to forget the extraordinary healthcare needs in resource-poor countries like Kenya, Peru, and Vietnam. Delivering basic medical supplies to those in need can truly save lives.

You can support global healthcare by putting your name on one of these shipments. CMMB will be sending $200,000 of medical supplies to Zimbabwe at the end of May and is hosting a “Packed With Love” Challenge to raise awareness around this issue. Spread this within your community to help CMMB meet its goals.

Please visit www.PackedWithLove.org to put your name on a box before the shipment is sent. You will be updated on its journey and the impact your shipment has on those it reaches.

Since 1928, CMMB’s medical donation program has distributed over $1.7 billion of medicines and medical equipment to improve healthcare in developing nations the world over.

Visit www.PackedWithLove.org to send love and support to those in need.

Valflowers-Singapore Florist said...

nice post...highly beneficial scheme to the people of Uganda

Hannah said...


This is Hannah Bevills, I am an editor for Hospital.com. We are a medical publication whose focus is geared towards promoting awareness on hospitals, including information, news, and reviews on them. We are in the process of adding a medical supplies/equipments section offering an extensive list of information related to medical equipments. We would like to have our site included within your blog and offer our information to your readers, of course we would be more than happy to list your blog within our directory as well.

Hannah Bevills