WOMEN'S ECONOMIC STRENGTHENING PROGRAM
Women’s economic marginalization and dependency is a key factor that continues to widen gender inequalities. Addressing women’s economic transformation is a catalyst to achieving women’s rights. Women’s economic empowerment can only be achieved by ensuring equality and equity in access to, utilization and benefit from productive resources and opportunities. There is need to remove structural barriers to women’s economic empowerment, including addressing gender inequities among women's access to critical finance for business, information and entrepreneurship skills among other benefits.
Women are the major recipients of microcredit loans because they are a better risk – they have a higher repayment rate and are more responsible with the money. Studies have show that women are more interested and therefore more likely to improve the lives of their children which includes nutrition, health and education. Data also suggests that lending to women has a significant increase in food and non-food expenditures per household suggesting that lending to women increases the health and well being of the entire family.
VacNet and Women’s Global Empowerment Fund (WGEF) work together to implement the Credit Plus model in northern Uganda. Northern Uganda is a post-conflict region, where women and children experienced horrific violence and chronic poverty. The women in our program are former abductees, forced to become child soldiers for the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army); former sex slaves or ‘wives’ of LRA commanders, have lost many family members, and, for the most part, have been invisible to their government and the global community. The 20 year conflict left the region unstable, lacking in economic activity, and vulnerable to food and human insecurity.
Northern Uganda is in full recovery, with hope for lasting peace and reconciliation are spreading; what is needed now is a comprehensive support package, including access to clean water and sanitation, health services and education. This is where VacNet and Women’s Global Empowerment Fund are impacting the community by providing an opportunity for sustainable human development. The women in our program are leading in their villages and communities, feeding their children, and creating viable businesses; Gulu town is growing and projects are becoming more diverse, with women opening small shops, bakeries, restaurants, hotels; construction projects and small to medium scale agriculture projects creating local food production, addressing food security regionally and nationally.
Over the years we have supported over 30,000+ micro Loans, supported 6,373 small-medium business startups. Additionally, 4,200+ women have completed the literacy program and other critical business development trainings. VacNet Implemented HIV/AIDS prevention project reaching out to 427,000 clients in Gulu. Our Health Periods Initiative distributed1.8million+ Sanitary pads to young girls and refugees with free and subsidised SanitaryPads. The Gulu Women's Resource Centre supports provided access to critical information. Supported 223 women to access justice, 3,560 women and men participated in the women's assembly radio program which attracted 1.5 million listenership in the region .
Through our microloans program, you can connect with hardworking female entrepreneurs who are waiting to realize their dream of building or expanding a successful business. A small loan is all they need. Even better, when the loan is paid off, your donated funds are recycled again and again to help more people and make a bigger impact.