CW-SLA stands for Catholic Workers’ Savings and Loan Associations. This was started in 2013 with two groups each of 20 members. We are happy to note that to date we have expanded from having 2 groups of 40 members to 5 groups of 100 members.

It is intended to empower members with skills and techniques to form Savings and Loan Associations of self-selected people who regularly save together and take small loans from those savings in order to enhance existing or to start new businesses. The key principles used are self-selection, self-administration and self-organisation.

Members meet bi-weekly and take loans every four weeks and also pay back every four weeks at an interest determined by each group. After 52 weeks (at the end of the cycle), members share out leaving a seed capital in the bank as agreed upon by all of them to help them start the next cycle.

This activity has helped to impart the culture of saving amongst the members and helped improve their lives.

Important to note with this project, the groups are well trained before starting, they are self-administered & self-managed with their own management committee which changes every year. Basic Business Management is emphasized and here each member of CW-SLA is collectively responsible for another’s growth.

The 1st TOT for pilot trainers and supervisors took place in Butende Monastry, Masaka Diocese from 1st to 9th September 2012. Dr. Birgit Galemann; a German consultant for financial systems development was the facilitator. The seminar was attended by 16 Pilot Trainers and 8 Pilot Supervisors from 9 pilot Dioceses of Arua, Gulu, Hoima, Jinja, Kampala, Kasana-Luweero, Kasese, Masaka and Tororo. We were privilidged to have participants from CWM-Mbuya

The participants carried out the preparatory phase (10th September, 2012 to 19th January, 2013) in which they had to master the training content, liaise with the Diocesan authorities and mobilize the first CW-SLAs.

With the introduction of the CWM – SLA in 9 Dioceses Mbuya Base group was chosen by CWM-Kampala Archdiocese as one of the four Pilot Base groups in which the CW-SLA was to be started.  The members embraced the simple and transparent system in which it operates. It is indeed self- help, self-administrative and self-responsible.  Members have discovered that they need to work hard and spend their earnings profitably and that time is money.

Observed merits:

  • Members have liked the program as witnessed by the excessive demand to join/start new groups.
  • The program has improved on members attitudes in regular savings, regular attendance, time-keeping, business planning and management, group leadership and responsibility. A positive attitude towards work as members target earning in order to save has also been observed.
  • There is as well a higher degree of sense of belonging and ownership observed among the members.
  • Pilot members have appreciated the fact that they can together raise relatively big amounts of the Loan fund by themselves.
  • With proper financial projections and business management, members have realised and appreciated that many of their businesses can make enough profits to recover the loan and grow their businesses.

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