PONT’s Livelihoods team supports families who care for vulnerable children in Mbale villages. We help them to help themselves by increasing their family income so that children can go to school, have better food and live in healthier homes.
We’ve given goats to more than 1500 families, trained 2000 people and set up over 150 self help groups.
The districts we work in are some of the poorest in Uganda. Most people depend on growing their own crops to feed their family. They have little opportunity to earn money for other necessities.
Children are particularly vulnerable to the impact of extreme poverty, missing out on nutrition and education. Many families care for orphans as well as struggling to provide for their own children.
What we do
Rather than give short term aid, we empower people to increase their income sustainably:
Self Help Groups
We set up groups of 20-30 people and train them in savings and credit, goal-setting, communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution and business promotion.
Some pay school fees, improve homes or crops. Others borrow capital to start small-scale businesses or agricultural initiatives.
"I feel safe"
Antonina has built a safer, healthier home for her three grandchildren thanks to her goat – with a roof that keeps them dry when it rains.
Watch: Education, Nutrition, Shelter
Patrick Shiswa was lucky he got a goat which produces “twins, twins, twins!” They’ve helped him provide education, nutrition and shelter – find out how a goat can make a big difference to a family.
We give the families who need them most a goat – animals that are of higher quality than typical local goats.
- We give a female goat to each family
- We give a male goat to the community
- Families are trained in how to care for their goat
- A goat supervisor is trained to provide basic veterinary services and manage the male goat
- The goats breed…
- The first kid produced is passed on to other members of the group, so the project is sustainable
- After this the family can sell any future kids to provide additional income
Breeding goats is a sustainable way of earning income that can be easily managed by most families.
And in the meantime:
- Goat milk is a valuable source of protein for children
- Goats produce great manure for crops! Which means more vegetables to eat or more coffee to sell.
We support 5 local NGOs to run and monitor our goat projects and Self Help Groups. Because we work in partnership with these local experts, training is tailored to the needs of each community. They know which families most need help. They’re embedded in their communities and can notice and respond to any issues. They mentor group leaders and build a relationship of trust.
Our Livelihood Co-ordinator Zebbie Nengholya brings these NGOs together and leads them to learn from each other and work together. She’s hugely respected in the villages she regularly travels out to by people who are benefitting from the project.
PONT volunteers from Wales visit from time to time (at their own expense) to review progress and help plan where goats and groups should go next.
Our activities help people in Mbale provide their families with what we’d consider basic necessities – food, shelter and the chance to go to school.
The project makes families healthier and more economically stable. Children get a better start in life – an investment in their future.
And it’s brought communities together. As well as the impact on family daily income, we’ve seen huge impacts on self-esteem and relationships. Testimonies have shown that family and community relationships are improved and cases of domestic violence are drastically reduced.
Working together has brought confidence, and brought hope. You can’t put a price on that.