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Community Resource Banking

6The Kitega Community Centre was established to support disabled children, who are marginalized within society and often denied even their basic needs, such as education, clothing and food. Through our efforts we have shown that, with the right love, care and support, these children can play a valuable and meaningful role within society.

However, we realized that by focusing our efforts solely on these disadvantaged children, we were ignoring the needs of the wider Kitega community.

We therefore widened our approach, developing programs that aim to facilitate the growth of a healthy and inclusive community, in which everyone is respected for making a valuable contribution and each member enjoys a dignified life.

Through our work and experience, we found that the greatest problem affecting the Kitega community was poverty; a factor which also increased instances of childhood disability and the marginalization of Kitega’s disabled children by up to 90%.

Therefore in 2010, the Kitega Community Centre introduced the Community Resource Banking (COREB) model to help community members realize their potential and break free of the poverty trap using the available resources.

7The overall aim of COREB is to facilitate community owned and driven development. Tailored to the needs of each community, the model provides essential support and encouragement, empowering people to work together to create a community built on sustainable development, self-employment and long-term income generation.

Participants are provided with three months of skills training, which allows them to:

  • Visualize their dreams
  • Implement effective strategies to achieve these dreams
  • Identify available resources

Through the COREB model, and with our support, community members are equipped with the right skills to fully utilize their available resources; raising the standard of living for individuals, families and the whole community, and changing lives for the better.

One of the additional benefits of COREB is that the disabled children of Kitega are now seen as valuable ‘assets’ who are capable of contributing to their families and to the development of the community as a whole. Individuals have also been inspired and motivated to use the resources at their disposal to change their lives through their own hard work and perseverance.

Generating income and creating jobs are central to our mission to alleviate poverty, and the Community Resource Banking Model is key to achieving these goals.

The Community Bank

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Following their period of training, community members are encouraged to pool their resources to form a community bank. These resources can include:

  • money (which forms the highest percentage of contributions to the bank
  • skills
  • knowledge

 

What are the objectives of Community Resource Banking?

  1. To increase the ability of community groups to identify, utilize and develop their local resources.
  2. To provide community initiatives and micro-businesses with increased access to credit.
  3. To increase off-farm employment and self-employment opportunities.
  4. To ensure long-term success by providing participants with accounting and business management skills.
  5. To help individuals fulfill their dreams and, in doing so, improve living standards for the whole community.

How does the bank operate?

Resources contributed to the bank by the community are matched by donations from our supporters. With sufficient reserves, the bank can then lend much-needed funds to micro-enterprises to allow them to grow and flourish.

What has COREB achieved to date?

8Community Resource Banking  has so far enabled Kitega community members to start and maintain sustainable and income-generating initiatives, including:

  • bricklaying
  • stone quarries
  • poultry rearing
  • banana plantations
  • vegetable stalls
  • tailoring services
  • food stalls

Since its introduction in 2010, the Community Resource Banking has proved to be a great success; so much so that by 2017, we aim to extend COREB training to 600 community members, and to mobilize funding worth 150 million Ugandan shillings (equivalent to around US$42,700).