EMPOWERING YOUNG MOTHERS: FINANCIAL LITERACY TRAINING IN BUTALEJA AND TORORO

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In efforts to improve the livelihood of young mothers in underprivileged communities, Uganda youth, and the Adolescent Health Forum, with support from Fos Feminista (Harm reduction project), held capacity-building training for 98 young mothers, adolescent girls, and boys on financial literacy in Tororo and Butaleja districts.

The trainings held on the 13th–14th in Tororo and the 16th–17th in Butaleja, aimed to equip adolescents and young mothers and fathers, including those that have been part of the UYAHF’s young mothers’ forum groups, with knowledge and skills on financial management and small business start-ups, and support them in establishing village/youth savings groups for self-sustainability.

The trainings were carried out in four health facilities, including Petta Health Centre III, Mukujju Health Centre IV in Tororo, Busaba Health Centre III, and Nabiganda Health Center IV in Butaleja district, respectively, attracting over 20 participants in each health facility.

During the training, Mr. David Kukyana, the UYAHF monitoring and evaluation officer, took the participants through key topics including saving principles, expenditure and planning, borrowing, record keeping, and group leadership and management.

It is incredible how these young mothers have embraced this training on the savings initiative. Some of them already have some knowledge of savings since they are a part of saving groups, but we want to support them on their own since they are a group that has known each other through our regular training, are within the same age bracket, and have similar challenges,” explained David Kuchana.

Throughout the training, the participants engaged in practical group sessions based on scenario stories to enhance their understanding of the topic as well as test their abilities in goal-setting and business operations.

Following the training, the young mothers formed four village/youth savings and loan association groups for each health facility (Petta Young Mothers Forum Village Saving and Loans Association, Mukujju Young Mothers Forum Village Saving and Loans Association, Busaba Young Mothers Forum Village Saving and Loans Association, and Nabiganda Young Mothers Forum Village Saving and Loans Association). Each group was also given a collection of materials, including saving boxes, pens, and record books, to aid their saving group, in addition to a seed grant of 300,000 shillings.

Speaking shortly after the training at Mukujju Health Center IV, Sister Akwi Betty, a midwife and an adolescent’s focal person at the health facility, expressed gratitude for the initiative and pledged to support and guide the group to ensure its success.

According to Nekesa Everline, a peer mother at Nabiganda Health Center IV, young mothers find challenges in caring for both their babies and themselves since most of them have been neglected by their families or the people who impregnated them. She adds that because of their low self-esteem, many of them also find it difficult to engage freely in economic activities, but this initiative will provide them with the opportunity since they are a homogeneous category of people.

I am overwhelmed with joy for this initiative and the support you continue to give us young mothers. The several trainings you offered earlier to us on safe motherhood have greatly improved our keeping healthy, and many of us are now free with health workers. Many of my colleagues have enrolled in family planning and frequently come to the health facility for services.” Judith Nahire, a young mother at Busaba HC III. She adds that the savings groups are going to improve their lives since they will be able to start their small businesses and get money to care for their babies and personal needs.

“As a peer mentor and on behalf of the people and specifically the young mothers, I want to thank UYAHF and Fos Feminista for their continuous support, and we pledge to uphold this group and make the best of it,” Leonard Okoth, Peer mentor, Petta Health Center II.