Money is tight these days, including in Uganda. According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics, last year Uganda faced the highest inflation rate since 1993 with inflation rates escalating up to 28.3%. The current tough economic times have seen high inflation rates, high interest rates, low pay of teachers in government schools and general income inequality in the country. Such uncertainties in the economy have driven many to struggle for survival, including many of the teachers at Invisible Children’s (IC) partner schools.
To help teachers during the difficult economic times, IC’s Schools for Schools (S4S) program is supporting the staff of Gulu High School and other partner schools to initiate a staff saving scheme. The teachers are trained in Saving and Credit Co-operatives (SACCO) to encourage saving, reduce unnecessary spending, avoid accumulation of debts, and provide a welfare fund in case of misfortune.
Members are trained in group dynamics, cooperation and conflict resolution. “You should borrow both promptly and timely, and pay back the same way,” the facilitator, Mr. Ola Lakere, emphasized.
The teachers came with high expectations and were eager to start up the scheme. Lagara Godfrey, a teacher of History and Geography, said he plans to use his savings to fund his dream of continued education.
“If all goes well with the scheme, I hope to go back to school for a Master’s degree and later build a house,” he said.
Savings schemes like this one allow individuals to set their own goals and save for the dreams they want to achieve. By supporting the teachers at IC partner schools, the S4S staff is helping to motivate and inspire educators with plans for the future.