We love stories like this. So much creativity coming from incredibly capable refugees. This savings program empowers our members to dream and pursue those dreams - together.
A Seed Effect savings groups used funds from their group to pay a trainer to teach them how to make bags. They bought beads and started businesses. They sold the bags in the market which is where they were noticed by a UNHCR Agent who offered to take them to Kampala to sell them there and bring back more... supplies for more bags.
The Agent only provided the transportation and the women used group savings/loans to pay for the training and purchase the materials themselves.
💚So inspired by these amazing women! 💚
📷: Esther Havens Photography
“I’m a Ugandan national and I decided to join a Seed Effect savings group for the future of my five children. I have a business selling clothes in the market and I make money to provide for my children and put them in school.
I took a loan of 50,000 Ugandan Shillings to invest in my business and the loan was helpful. When I increased my inventory, I made a profit. It was easy to pay back because I had profit!
I’m the Chairperson of Struggle Seed Effect savings group. In ...our group, some of us are naturals (Ugandan citizens), and we want these South Sudanese refugees to be part of us. We want them to forget their trauma and what we have been facing. We do counseling and help them and give our full support to them.” - Harriet, Seed Effect Savings Group Member
Photo credit @estherhavens
Today we’re thankful for our people - the ones that help us to feel like we’re at home. And we’re thankful for you! Because of your support, they’re finding the love and comfort of a home away from home. 💚
“I am here again in Uganda until there is peace. When there is peace I will go home again.
I have 5 grown children. And this is my grandchild, Sokiri....
I joined a savings group because of future hunger. My husband is dead and I am alone. I needed to plan for the future. I sell onions, vegetables, and small fish in the market. I buy them wholesale and sell them for a profit.
What I like about being in the savings group is not just about the money, but that I find comfort and consolation. When we are together, I feel like I am at home. Some of the people from my old neighborhood in Kajo Keji are here. I see my old friends. It helps me not to worry about the hard things. When you enter into hardships, you can get assistance here in the savings group. I don’t have to knock door to door to ask for money because I save my own money.” - Agnes, Hope Seed Effect Savings Group
Photo credit by @estherhavens
Our Seed Effect Uganda Saving For Life Program is spreading of the gospel and bringing economic empowerment to those who need it most!
Today we completed the 3rd day of Village Agents training in Adjumani District. This training equips community members from both the refugee camps and host-communities to start and lead saving groups. We can’t wait to see more families reached with this program.
Join us as we celebrate New Beginnings of hope and empowerment at Seed Effect Turns 8!
Over a million South Sudanese refugees are rebuilding their lives alongside their new neighbors in Uganda. Through our sustainable Christ-centered savings program, Seed Effect is empowering them, and their Ugandan neighbors, to find hope when they need it most.
Join us for an incredible photo gallery, a fun cocktail party, and a night of generosity....
The gallery, by Esther Havens, will feature the inspiring stories of our members. Photography will be available for purchase via silent auction and all proceeds will go to support the work of Seed Effect.
Tickets can be purchased for $19 a piece at http://seedeffect.org/seturns8
We are so excited!
Today Marks the beginning of the first training for the first Village Agents into our Savings program in Moyo refugee camps. These Village agents are prepared to be Agents of Change and the Feet for our Lord Jesus Christ; and with them larger communities shall be reached, more Saving Groups shall be formed and more opportunities for Savings.
We move step by step, we move to the goal of economic empowerment.
"I was heartbroken. I am a widow and completely poor and yet I have 4 children to take care of. There was no one encouraging me, giving me ideas, or leading me in my life and so I joined a savings group. The group has strengthened me and given me so much peace. They have helped me to get involved doing business. I have started selling some pancakes and lumber. And even now my children are in school. I haven’t taken a loan yet but when I do, my dream is to use my loan for starting a proper business making more pancakes. And I hope to buy goats to raise." - Betty, South Sudanese refugee and Seed Effect savings group member
Photo credit Esther Havens
Empower more refugees like Betty and double your impact @ http://seedeffect.org/reinvest
Today is Reinvest | Seed Effect Giving Day and we need your help! Together we can empower Ugandan nationals and South Sudanese refugees to study God's word, build community, and provide for their families with dignity through our sustainable Christ-centered savings groups!
And today only, your donation will be multiplied by a $50,000 challenge grant when you donate @ http://seedeffect.org/reinvest !
Meet Juan Betty! She is the Chairperson for the God Is With Us group. She is currently using a $13 loan from her savings group to purchase materials she turns into these great handkerchiefs to sell in the market. Her group eclipsed the $500 mark at this week's meeting having now saved about $525 in just under 4 months!!! Several members are using that savings as active loans to build businesses just like Juan Betty!
Our Seed Effect Uganda staff just returned from a meeting with the local office of the prime minister (OPM) in Moyo, Uganda today. The OPM had invited all of the refugee camp leaders as well as some other NGO’s to discuss Seed Effect’s expansion into Moyo. When our team began sharing the stats from our program serving South Sudanese refugees near Adjumani, none of the organizations could believe it was possible.
Here’s what our staff said: “The thinking for all of these org...anizations is that the refugees are too poor to start something on their own. They think you must give them something. But Seed Effect has demystified the thinking that the poor cannot save”.
We’re bringing sustainable, Christ-centered savings groups to refugees when no one thought it was possible. It is possible because they are capable. And it’s working to bring hope, opportunity, empowerment and community when they need it most.
Photo by Esther Havens.
"Two weeks ago I watched South Sudanese refugees from over a dozen different tribes conduct their weekly savings group meeting. This group is called Struggle. By definition, struggle means “to make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction” and there could not be a better word to describe this group. While their country is at war, they’ve chosen peace; and not just peace, but reconciliation and Biblical community. And while the world would tell them refugees can’t, they are proving they can."
Read more about Seed Effect co-founder Missy Womack Williams' trip to the Ugandan refugee settlements:
I left South Sudan because I was attacked by soldiers. They wanted to shoot me. They tried to release the bullet but it wouldn't come out. They tried their best. They put the gun on my neck, on my head, on my chest. But the bullet wouldn't come out. I know it was the power of God that saved me.
After the assault, I had to leave the following morning The day I was leaving, the roads were closed. I knelt in prayer and God opened a way for me. I came through the bush.
I lost al...l my money for the business and all my property. I was left with nothing.
When I arrived here, there was not a single person to help me. I built a home with my own hands using stones I gathered. The church helped me with the roof.
In the beginning, I had to first cut firewood and I sold it to get money for the savings. And truly it was very difficult. I couldn’t get anything.
And now that I’m in the savings group, I can save and get a loan which helps me to buy things I need.
But I have a dream that I will start a business and then I will be able to fully support my child.
Because of the Gospel and the encouragement in the Word through the savings group, I have learned to release my pain. I know everything happens according to God’s will.
I did not go to school, but I have learned to read my Bible. I want to hold my bible all of the time because that is the power that saved me from death and brought me to a safer place where I am now.
I believe I am alive because of the power of God. If not for God, I would be dead now. - Makolata, South Sudanese refugee and Seed Effect savings group member
Photo credit: @estherhavens