Capacity strengthening of youth groups for increased financial inclusion

By Kakibogo Edlyne.

Photo: A copy of the registration certificate for Maendeleo Group.

Maendeleo Savings Group is one of the youth groups enrolled by KRC under the Markets for Youth Program partnership with Goal Uganda.

Located in Kyaka II Refugee Settlement, the group comprises of 35 members with majority female membership of 27. Through the program, the youth group has undergone a series of trainings and mentorship since November 2021 in group dynamics, VSLA methodology and enterprise development in the agriculture sector.

Starting as an informal youth association, Maendeleo was not legally registered at the start of the program, which put them at a disadvantage of not benefitting from many other programs. For instance, registration of youth groups with the District Community Development Office is a prerequisite for accessing the Youth Livelihood Fund disbursed by government through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. It’s also a requirement for opening a group bank account. As part of capacity building, Maendeleo Savings Group amongst other youth groups was guided by KRC through the processes of registration to operate as a legal entity. Upon fulfilment of all the requirements, Maendeleo was able to register and the group received its certificate of registration from Kyegegwa District Local Government. As a result, the group also fulfilled the requirement of opening a group bank account, choosing Equity Bank and now able to access financial services and banking information. Within Kyegegwa District, KRC has facilitated linkages of over 12 youth groups and 95 individual youths to open group and personal banks accounts with Centenary Bank. Kyegegwa District remains one of the most underserved areas in terms of formal banking services. The nearest commercial bank is located in Kyenjojo Town Council, 54 kilometers away