The Grandmother’s Project is a community-based support system for children at risk of separation in Mpigi District. The project provides assistance to grandmothers who are caring for these children, whether they are biologically related or not (such as in foster or community care). These grandmothers are often the sole caregivers and are stepping up to care for their grandchildren however they have e limited access to resources and support. We are supporting the grandmothers to take care of their grandchildren and form savings group where they can borrow to boost or start a business and other household needs.
This month we joined one of the groups in Mpigi District for their monthly meeting. The group comprises 60 grandmothers most of whom had trekked long distances to join their peers. This meeting was a special one as they were sitting down to discuss the financial aspects of their group- how much each one of them would be saving every month save and how one would be eligible to borrow.
“The grandmother’s project aims to empower grandmothers in Mpigi district with the necessary support to make sure that they have what they need to take care of their grandchildren. We are learning from our partners Nyaka Global who have been supporting grandmothers in Southwestern Uganda for the last 10 years.”Julius kasirivu, our social worker in Mpigi shared
We are empowering the grandmothers with financial and entrepreneurship skills. The approach provides peer and advocacy support as well as teaches them how to come together to form savings groups where they can save and borrow money. This ensures that they are economically empowered to improve their households’ income and better take care of their children.
We spoke to Imelda Baake one of the grandmothers in the group. She is taking care of her three grandchildren. One of her daughters sadly passed on and she had to take on the mantle of taking care of her grandchildren. For the last three years, Baake has been the primary caregiver to her grandchildren. She shared with us that she has learnt of the group as she was attending a service at her local church and decided to join. “Since joining the group I have improved my savings skills, I have bought school supplies for my grandchildren like books, pencils, pens and uniforms as well as paid their school fees,” Baake shared “Now I can be able to take care of my grandchildren.”
Baake borrowed 200,000 Ugandan Shillings from the group and was able to buy pigs which she hopes to rear and sell to boost her income “I have bought six pigs and two piglets which I am planning to sell, my pocket will never be empty. My dream is to make sure that my grandchildren are educated,” She is hoping to take on another loan to buy chicken for rearing and selling.
Maria Nantale is part of this group and she is taking care of her three grandchildren. “I love taking care of my grandchildren especially preparing them for school every morning. This group will help me grow, develop and support me to ensure that my grandchildren continue with their education.” Maria shared with us.
By supporting grandmothers just like Imelda and Baake, we hope to bring attention to the importance of kinship care in Africa. We believe that by working together, we can make a significant impact in the lives of these families and contribute to the global movement for care reform.