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UWESO CEO Jolly Kamugira Kaguhangire to Revive the Branch Executive Committees (BECs)

To revive the Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphan (UWESO) Branch Executive Committees, the new Chief Executive Officer Madam Jolly Kamugira Kaguhangire paid a courtesy visit to the BEC structures in Eastern Uganda.

She visited various groups in Tororo, Mbale, Ngora, Kum, Katakwi and Soroti Districts. Her primary objective was to better understand the BEC system, and the prevalent challenges, identify best practices, and gather valuable lessons to streamline and enhance the support extended to these groups.

Historically, these groups have played a pivotal role in mobilizing communities, particularly women, into socio-economic clusters to improve living standards and bridge cohesion to fight socio-economic challenges. Notably, they spearheaded the formation of Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), a program championed by UWESO’s patron, Mama Janet Museveni. These initiatives target women, empowering them to participate in community development. The mobilization of members into these groups fosters unity, facilitates efficient resource allocation, and attracts funding from external donors.

CEO (In a navy blue jacket) pose for a photo with some of the BEC representatives in Soroti together with the visiting team

Despite their impactful work, the glory of these groups began to fade in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, as they lost touch with UWESO. Though they remained active through VSLAs, the absence of strong leadership caused a decline in resilience and optimism. Recognizing a gap, Madam Kaguhangire embarked on a mission to rekindle their spirit, starting with a thorough understanding of the situation to develop a strategic revival plan.

During her interactions, Madam Kaguhangire applauded the resilience of these teams, acknowledging their unwavering dedication to UWESO even during periods of disconnection. She was especially impressed by the invaluable contributions of the Mbale BECs to the community food banking initiative. Through this effort, BECs gather surplus food from markets to distribute to Orphans and Vulnerable Children in critical need. She urged other groups to embrace this caring spirit, especially towards orphaned children who are at the heart of UWESO’s mission. She urged them to uphold the vision of UWESO’s founder, First Lady Janet Kataaha Museveni, who heard a voice in the bush during the National Resistance Army (NRA) liberation war telling her: “Don’t forget my orphans.”

Slide gallery below to see more activity photos of the CEO and the BECs during the engagements

Madam Kaguhangire shared UWESO’s strategy to connect these groups with various donors to supplement their financial efforts. However, she emphasized that this could only be achieved through well-structured BECs and encouraged them to maintain their commitment to collective action and group participation. She plans on visiting other groups in Central and Western as well.

Agnes Tumuheire

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