As Nakyanzi Nuulu, Chairperson Tukolere wamu Women’s group narrated how they have successfully influenced and changed the mind sets of many women in Kalagala Sub County, one cannot help but think of the many more women’s lives she will be able to transform.
“Many women are now requesting to join our group because they have seen the fruits of our hard work and benefits of financial independence,” says the 54-year-old business owner. “Before, the women in our community solely depended on their husbands for income but that has all changed.”
Tukolere wamu, when loosely translated from Luganda means “working together”, true to their name, the group has been inspiring women in Kalagala Sub County Luwero district for over 20 years. Having started as a savings group, Tukolere wamu is now a fully-fledged SACCO which has ventured into several businesses as a group like brick making, poultry farming and syndicate farming. Through these activities, the women developed a collective drive to be financially independent and motivate one another.
“When NAWOU started training us on women economic participation and bringing facilitators to teach us better farming methods, we started seeing a change in our produce and income,” says Nuulu, whose group is a previous UWEP program beneficiary, own 3 50 x 50 tents and 150 chairs and has over 400 birds that produce 10 trays per day.
The group of 30 (26 women, 4 men) has received several requests from women in the community to join. She has used this opportunity to encourage them to form their own groups and in turn, Nuulu and several other group members periodically pass on information learnt from NAWOU and FIDA Uganda trainings to these newly formed groups.
“We have seen how our lives have significantly improved and we want to see more women gain financial independence and enjoy the freedom it comes with,” she adds. However, with the COVID 19 pandemic, the tent hiring business has incurred losses as large gatherings are still banned. During this period, the group focused on expanding their piggery project, growing each individual member’s business and purchasing a cow which they plan on using for dairy farming.
Tukolere wamu plans on buying a 100 x 100 tent, adding cutlery to their catering business and ensuring each of their members has a side project running at household level come 2021.
“I believe we will be able to reach our set targets as a group and individuals because we have all the information we need to grow on our fingertips,” she says.
Tukolere wamu is a “Women at work” project beneficiary which partners with FIDA Uganda with support from Forum for Women and Development (FOKUS). The project has been running for the last 5 years.