Financial Freedom: The Story of Sylvia Emar

Before the Field of Hope’s Women’s Program, Sylvia remembers life being very difficult. She had little knowledge of how to improve her farm and limited ability to borrow money, as most lenders need securities and have significantly long processing times. Sylvia would hear about saving money, but never imagined she could save 500,000 UGX (roughly $140). In addition to these challenges, she did not have proper housing.

That was before she became a founding member of the Arwotceck Women’s Cooperative.

According to Sylvia, the trainings have helped her improve her farming practices; she no longer casts seeds but plants them in rows, weeds her garden in time, and harvests on time. The trainings on finances have also helped her improve the saving culture within her family; her savings has been growing every crop cycle.

Her living conditions have drastically improved, and now there is always food for the family. She is able to pay school fees for the children and pay for health services when needed. Sylvia loves being part of the group because it has allowed her to create friendships and learn.

Sylvia has been able to borrow from the group’s Village Savings and Loans Association, which has helped her purchase farm inputs, pay school fees, build a house, buy a cow, and start a piggery project, which will further increase her household income. Over the past four years, she has been able to borrow and pay back eight loans from the cooperative.

“The VSLA has saved me from the shame and scorn of borrowing from friends and neighbors,” shared Sylvia. Sylvia also improves her community by sharing her knowledge with her friends and neighbors.

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