Cooperative slashes fees to attract new members

To shore up its numbers, Lira Diocese Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited has slashed its membership fee from Shs 50,000 to Shs 30,000 to encourage registration of new members with minimal fees.

In a speech at the recent annual general meeting (AGM) held at the Apostolic Social Centre in Lira City, Cyprian Okello, the cooperative’s vice-chairperson, said many people had failed to register because they couldn’t afford the registration fee of Shs 50,000.

“We are forming the central mobilization committee. We shall ensure that each and every parish forms a mobilization committee that will include the catechist, parish priest, and the key people to strengthen mobilization, we want people everybody to understand the benefit of joining a cooperative,” he said.

So far the cooperative has 150 members. It was formed by Sanctus Lino Wanok, the Bishop of Lira Diocese in 2019, to improve the livelihoods of Christians in the nine districts of the Lango sub-region.

Patrick Vincent Muge, a member of the cooperative, said to succeed, the cooperative should engage only able and willing people to carry out Sacco activities.

Muge also urged the leadership to carry out more mobilization of Sacco members.

Father John Bosco Oryema, a member of Alito Catholic parish was excited by the reduction of the membership fees, saying it will encourage women to participate in the cooperative.

“The reduction will give avenues for women to join the cooperative, most women spend their money on running the day-to-day family affairs but now the fee reduction is an open chance for them to join the cooperate and save money to grow,” he noted.

Rt. Rev. Sanctus Lino Wanok, the founder of the cooperative, rallied the public to join the cooperative to alleviate poverty.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic that negatively affected businesses, the time is now for people to head towards a direction that will make them easily assist one another, cooperate in business enterprises and alleviate poverty,” he said.

The man of God nudged the clergy to mobilize the community to join the cooperative to increase household income and improve their livelihoods.

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Masindi women tipped on growing their SACCOs, SMEs

Women belonging to different women’s SACCOs and savings groups, as well as owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Masindi district have been trained on how to manage and grow then from one level to the next.

The one-day training was conducted by the All-in-One Women’s Association (ALOWA) at Kolping hotel in Masindi on Wednesday.

Godfrey Bahemuka, the Masindi district Community Development Officer (CDO), sensitized participants on the processes and procedures of forming SACCOs and savings groups, and on the roles of the elected leaders.

“As members, you should always know the vision, mission, and objectives of your groups and SACCOs. Most of you don’t know these things and yet they are key. That’s why many of your groups and SACCOs don’t last,” explained Bahemuka.

He also underscored the need for proper record keeping in all organizations involved in savings and credit, noting that this documentation is necessary for accountability.

The members were also taken through group conflict management and basic financial literacy.

Bahemuka also advised the leaders of different women groups to make use of the available government programs like the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program (UWEP) and Emyooga to get capital for their businesses.

Unite purposefully

Lilian Namirimu, the Executive Director, ALOWA urged women to unite with a purpose, and not only plan to come together when the government is planning to give out funds.

” As women, we need to work together and not in isolation. We shall achieve our targets if we are united,” Namirimu said, adding that unity would give them greater bargaining power in lobbying for their interests.

Namirimu said the association decided to extend this training to women because of the important role they play in promoting social and economic development.

Florence Achiro, the Chairperson, Women of Worth Catering Group, commended ALOWA for organizing the training.

“The knowledge we have acquired will enable us to improve on the management of our groups and businesses.”

Stella Alinaitwe from Masindi Central Market Vendors SACCO appealed for further training opportunities from other organizations.

“We really have inadequate knowledge on how to run these SACCOs. We need more training like this to equip us with the necessary information to grow our SACCOs and businesses.”

The meeting was attended by market vendors, produce dealers, and women leaders, among others.

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