Kiretwa Abeterine Group is a women VSLA group located in Kiretwa Village Kashojwa parish, Rugaaga Sub County, Base camp Nakivale refugee settlement, Isingiro district.
We started this group in January 2019 after UWESO reaching our village and sensitized us about the benefits of forming and saving in VSLA group. We mobilized ourselves and formed a group of 30 members.
Since we started saving, the group has managed to save up to UGX 5,000,000 approx. USD 1,364.
It was in June 2019, when one of our group members shared the idea of starting a group IGA to supplement on our household income and she suggested that we start a tailoring business and all the members agreed upon it.
Before we started the business, only five members within the group had the skills and knowledge to operate a sewing machine. At the start, we had no sewing machines. We therefore used part of our savings and social fund to buy four sewing machines at a price of UGX 350,000 approx. USD 94 each. We bought these machines in June 2019 from Sangano in Base Camp Nakivale refugee settlement in Isingiro district.
Since we started this business, we have benefited a lot because we generate money after selling and sewing for customers from within our village and the nearby villages. We are able to save money and borrow to pay school fees for our children at school. Many members have also benefited from trainings on how to operate the sewing machines.
Since we started operating this business, the group faces challenges like; lack of enough training materials to use while training other members within the group, the machines are not enough for all of us especially during the training period.
Limited space where we are operating that cannot accommodate all the 30 members. We do not have a finishing machine which makes us move long distances looking for finishing services in the nearby trading Centre.
Our future plan is to ensure that all members in the group acquire skills and knowledge to operate the sewing machine and every member of the group to have her own machine.
We are also planning to buy a finishing machine for the group and also buy more materials to start a tailoring training Centre.
Our advice to other members in VSLA groups is to continue saving, have a saving goal and also continue working together in the group.