MUHANGA — Self-help groups funded by the Africa Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE), in Kamonyi, Muhanga, and Ruhango districts will soon form one cooperative to facilitate quick access to loans.
This was revealed by officials of the AEE, during an evaluation meeting for project beneficiaries and implementers held on December 5, at EPR Muhanga.
“AEE is a Christian organisation-that has trained and empowered residents in 480 Self –help groups (SHG), mainly comprised of poor communities, on various aspects of socio-economic development in line with government development programmes,” said Augustine Nsabimana, the AEE area coordinator.
During the meeting, the members of SHG pointed out that several income generating activities in the area have prospered and it was high time to form a saving and loan cooperative scheme to increase access to bigger loans.
The groups have so far raised Rwf49million in savings.
Some of their activities that have grown over time include livestock farming and poultry.
The members have over 760 goats, 20 cows, 1112 pigs, 300 chickens, 1490 rabbits, 100 bee keeping hives, kiosks, nursery schools, coffee and cassava plantations. They also make soap.
“It is against these achievements that the beneficiaries want to expand and improve their business. The cooperative will be a turning point that will mainly benefit the individuals in the self-help groups,” Nsabimana added.
The meeting recommended the formation of commissions in charge of mobilisation and sensitisation to educate the beneficiaries on the importance of a cooperative.
The members set January next year as the tentative date for setting up the cooperative and residents in their respective clusters were urged to take the opportunity and register for membership.
The SHG team leaders commended AEE for its efforts in transforming the livelihood of residents. The residents noted that they now could afford health insurance, a balanced diet, and their children education.
“The training sessions have helped us to work hard and save so as to change our lives. Most of us can afford to buy soap, sugar, sleep in mosquito nets, and feed our children well,” their team leader said.