“Before the VSLA was set up in my local community, many children dropped out of school to work in plantations like tobacco, sugarcane and tea. Now, thanks to the VSLA group and training in finance and business skills, we can make a better income, and pay school fees.”
Grace Kunanuka is a small business owner from Katuuga Village in Uganda. After training from ECLT’s implementing partner, UWESO, Grace formed a VSLA group with 30 members.
Grace’s first loan enabled her to invest in her restaurant and boost her profits. Now she can send her daughter to high school, furthering her education and providing her with a brighter future and breaking the cycle of poverty. Village Savings and Loan Associations are groups where community members, particularly women, come together to learn how to save money, manage their finances and develop their business skills.
Farming households often have an unstable income depending on yield and harvest. VSLAs serve as crucial role helping families secure a more resilient income and save for difficult months. For mothers like Grace, the boost in income means that they are less likely to have to send their children to work to supplement household funds, and they can afford school fees all year round.
Child labour deprives children of quality education and of the opportunities to access decent work as an adult. In Uganda, it affects every sector and almost every commodity including the tobacco, sugarcane, tea and coffee sectors, amongst many others. To bring effective and sustainable change for these children and accelerate progress towards SDG 8.7 to eliminate all child labour by 2025, partnerships play a critical role in closing the gaps and coordinating efforts made by public and private stakeholders.
ECLT Uganda Affiliate Office
In 2019, ECLT endeavoured to put a stop to the displacement of child labour from one sector to another in order to eliminate child labour once and for all. ECLT is therefore proud to welcome the ECLT Uganda Affiliate Office: an independent locally based organisation set up to promote multi-stakeholder collaboration in the fight against child labour in Uganda. Pioneering a new strategy in Hoima district, ECLT’s new Affiliate Office brings together stakeholders from public and private sectors, across commodities, to intensify the coordination of efforts to close gaps in eliminating child labour.
Keeping collaboration at the heart of the Office’s work, stakeholders agreed on key deliverables. These include conducting a regional child labour survey, increasing awareness on the topic of child labour, strengthening local referral systems, building capacity, strengthening private sector coordination, mapping activities, and finally mobilising resources.
Read more about our work in Uganda in our latest Annual Report!