“Ozimbye VICOBA Oy’omulembe, ekyamya n’omuyise ali ku lugendo; twali mu nzikiza nga tetulina taala…”
These words start a famous VICOBA song that is sung in Uganda by VICOBA members appreciating the Centre for bringing VICOBA; the words in Luganda mean; “You have built a great VICOBA loved and cherished by many, we were in darkness without light …”
VICOBA is built around communities dreaming and working collectively to bring about positive change in their lives and communities.
VICOBA, is the acronym for Village Community Banking.
The sound of the name quickly makes one think that VICOBA is a regular savings and loans Association to provide credit to the poor and other low income earners in the community. When people hear you talking about VICOBA, they will quickly think about money, i.e loans and savings.
Well we can talk about micro finance and the potential it has to raise people from poverty another day.
VICOBA is about building “COMMUNITY” which brings a sense of purpose and meaning. Building and deepening Community is at the heart of VICOBA and in fact the beginning point that defines the entire process. Community means a different way of doing things, improved relationships, compassion… and it is through community that individuals flourish and thrive.
VICOBA also involves helping individuals to develop and articulate their individual and collective dreams and empowers individuals to identify and utilise locally available resources as the starting point to help them achieve their dreams.
And guess what the greatest resource that is locally available to everyone is? The answer is surprising to many, but the answer is ME.
In addition, the process also equips the participants with essential skills that can be useful in the process.
The Community Resource Banking process
Transformed to transform:
The best way to quickly achieve your dream is by helping others achieve their dreams; this is the spirit of VICOBA beneficiaries, the joy and happiness is shared with others in the community.
VICOBA beneficiaries go the extra mile and help in bringing about positive change in their respective communities. The model empowers them to start doing things that benefit the entire community.
VICOBA facilitator Ronald 70- Has inspired many in East Africa
A team of facilitators from Uganda have helped in the training process, and with African Road Inc Partnership, the centre has been able to replicate VICOBA in Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania and plans are underway to take the VICOBA training to Democratic Republic of Congo.
And how do they define VICOBA?
VICOBA means; education for children, food in the home, agriculture, clean water, helping the disadvantaged, working hard, progress, improved relationships in the family, businesses, happiness, love, progress, friendship, mindset shift; the list is endless.
Participants go ahead to draw pictures of what VICOBA means to them:
Some of the pictures that describe VICOBA in some communities
This is my picture of VICOBA in my life and community
And it is all about this:
In October 2017, representatives from different communities in Est Africa gathered in Kigali – Rwanda for a consultative and learning process on VICOBA. The feedback was overwhelming,
“It is needed for the entire universe” is the best summary for all the feedback that was shared in this meeting.
Recap of what beneficiaries have experienced as a result of VICOBA