Building a Home in Uganda
As she reclined on her woven mat, a satisfied smile spread across Jessica’s face. With their newly built home in the background, her despair had given way to Hope.
“We never had any plans of building a better house until we joined a Savings for Life group!” Jessica shared.
A Broken Home
Not long ago, Michael and Jessica’s tiny hut with a grass-thatched roof couldn’t protect them from the weather. Their family used to pile in a corner every time it rained. They spent most of their time and money repairing the roof.
But the patches never held, flooding their tiny home again and again.
Until this point, the couple had no personal finance training. Consequently, Michael and Jessica quickly spent all their income from their garden each month without having anything left over for savings or to plan for their future. They could never have dreamed that they could save for a better home.
Jessica recalled: “Our only focus was paying for school fees and food. That is where all our money went. I tried to encourage my husband to join saving groups in the community, but because of their reputation, he refused. We always got reports of people disappearing with other people’s savings. But we got interested when we heard that this training program called Savings for Life was coming through the church. We had very high hopes in it and decided to join.”
The Savings Journey That Built a Home
In 2018, Michael and Jessica embarked on their new financial adventure. After completing the Savings for Life training, they joined a savings group.
Soon, the couple saved $105 (400,000 in Uganda shillings). They used the money to plant over 1.5 acres of their cash crop—peanuts. With the proceeds, they paid for school fees for their four children and saved the rest.
And even in 2019, despite all the COVID lockdowns, Michael and Jessica still managed to save 600,000 Uganda shillings (almost $160), which they used to buy bricks for their new house.
Jessica and Michael also accessed a loan from the savings group to expand their farm and planted two acres of peanuts. With the income, they bought cement and sand, and hired workers to begin construction on their home!
Jessica expressed: “Saving for Life has enabled us to manage the little we earn. Now, we do not have to wait for a harvest to pay school fees. We know we can rely on our savings group to give us a loan at a very low interest rate of 10% without any security. That way, we can pay back in manageable installments.”
Together with her family, Jessica has moved into the new house. Although it is not yet fully complete, Jessica and Michael feel motivated and equipped to save more money and complete construction!
Jessica concluded: “We keep reminding ourselves that our Savings for Life journey has just begun. We need to have a bigger acreage of crops so that we can earn more and save more. Next, we need to put windows and doors in the house. We also need to plan and set up an emergency fund for unexpected bills such as hospital and school dues. Finally, we want to thank God for the financial training, and we bless Him for everyone who thought about training us to manage our own financial affairs.”
Invest in Hope
When you invest in Bright Hope’s work among the extreme poor, you play a crucial role in helping people create sustainable solutions that break the cycle of extreme poverty. This includes building a home in Uganda and many more lifesaving projects.
Join us today to give hope to the hopeless!