This was one of Julie's many routine field trips to Mubende when she follows up on the projects and interacts with the EV local leadership. This time the topics for the visit were:
- To follow up on the gender in value chain (GVC) training and meet with the GVC bean project leadership of Empowered Voices.
- Make a plan for new office requirements.
- Follow up on the VSLA (Village Savings and Loans Association) groups.
The bean project was chosen in the beginning of the GVC as a case study and as a practice project to put the learning from the GVC training into life. Today (August 30th) the GVC team wanted to follow up on the learning outcomes from Peninah and Sylvia's trip to Kitgum in July (photo 2, and previous blog post) and make a marketing road map for selling the beans (photo 2 and 3). In photo 3 we see the details of this season's harvest and how the bean project leaders want to use it for different purposes (sorry, some of it is in the local language Luganda!).
After the GVC meeting, plans were made for further upgrading the EV office. IAHV UK (http://www.iahv.org.uk/) donated a grant last year for establishing an office and purchasing office equipments. This is an ongoing process that EV is doing step by step to get used to new equipment and not get overloaded with new technology too quickly (like computer, printer, scanner). The long-term plan is that the office can provide services to the community (e.g. printing documents, internet access) for small fees to support EV projects.
At last, the VSLA was on the agenda. The VSLA groups of Empowered Voices have had great success. The VSLA is a system for saving together in a group and the members can take loans from the group's savings. These systems are used in many rural areas around the world. This time Julie and the VSLA leaders wanted to conduct an audit for the main scheme and a mid-term audit for the Kiwummolo group. In the photos we can see the Kiwummolo group in action. The box is where the money and the note books for each member are kept. For security it is locked with three locks and three different members have keys.