Community Livelihoods Support Inspires Action: Improving Household Wellbeing
With steady community livelihood support and a strong dose of his own creativity and determination, Richard Byabaganda, 33, is finally able to meet his family’s financial needs.
Richard and his wife are the caregivers of six children: four of their own and two of Richard’s late brother, who died recently. The Byabaganda’s finances started to improve when Richard learned about Toil and Promote Agriculture (TAPA), a community-based organization supported by the Western Uganda Bantwana Program (WUBP). Through WUBP, Bantwana and community partners help families like Richard’s improve their financial status through income generating activities by building practical skills, linking families with local markets, and helping them measure and monitor their progress.
“I can’t believe myself today; I really came far. There are times when I would eat one meal a day and my children could not go to good schools because of poverty, but now I feel that I can support my family and feel more confident about our future.”
Before his involvement with WUBP, Richard was in debt to several high interest lenders. He met WUBP partner TAPA during the organization’s household survey of vulnerable families in his community. Richard took advantage of TAPA’s WUBP-supported economic improvement workshop and quickly absorbed basic principals of small business practices, as well as skills to improve his family’s food security, nutrition, and hygiene.
Bantwana provided Richard with a start-up kit containing 30 kilograms of groundnuts, which he used to cultivate and produce 11 sacks of groundnuts. He also consulted TAPA staff on marketing strategies and appropriate pricing. With TAPA’s guidance, Richard incorporated concepts such as economies of scale by selling multiple bags to one vendor for a fair market price.
A natural entrepreneur, Richard Byabaganda took full advantage of Bantwana’s support for small business development and is now running small businesses based in his community that have substantially improved his income and capacity to support his family’s basic needs.
Wanting to invest his revenue in more income generating activities, Richard constructed a temporary structure to raise chicken. However, he soon realized that he did not have adequate security to protect the chickens or complete knowledge about how to raise them. Instead, Richard bought a generator and used the structure to show films, which bring in 50 paying customers each week. He also rents generator time to neighbors to charge their cell phones. Richard now uses his additional earned income to pay his children’s school fees and ensure that his family eats nutritious food every day.