South Sudan, Africa

SUD01 - Micro-enterprise Loan Programme: Partnership Reports



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Report Date: March 24, 2019

Report on Foundations for Farming Training & Micro-loan Project in Juba, South Sudan from Thomas Lubari

 

Micro-loan Programme

Challenges 

In Juba inflation affected those who kept a larger portion of their funds in cash. Furthermore the insecurity limited the supervision in Juba. There has been no financial boost from BHW since 2016 and some members could not sustainably manage their businesses. Most of the women involved in business were the bread winners in their homes and some had to close down their businesses.

A few sought refuge in the refugees camps in Uganda with a few who died.

Achievements 

In Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, those who kept their capital in goods or business sustained their businesses during the inflation. Some old women have been able to construct buildings. The businesses have become the source of the family’s income and support since government salaries cannot sustain families. Businesses are sustainably growing and loan members need more funds.

A total of 42 persons trained in Foundations for Farming have requested to be involved in the micro-loan programme and at least 28 have paid their membership and will keep depositing to their accounts awaiting a boost.

Recommendations

good profitThis micro-loan programme is more a humanitarian intervention than a regular micro-loan scheme. South Sudanese are the most suffering people who need intervention in terms of such enterprises. There is need for regular training of beneficiaries as most do not know how to run a business for profit.

Therefore I request that the Bright Hope World Executive reconsiders boosting the South Sudan micro-loan programme, especially in Juba, to help the current number of beneficiaries improve on their livelihood.

There is also a need to facilitate supervisory costs to enable beneficiaries to maintain regularity in their repayments.

All beneficiaries are willing to make profits but training will enable them to cope with changing circumstances around their businesses.

Personal Stories

good livingMary Keji (above right) is grateful to the loan that has enabled her to survive the hunger in Juba. She makes a good profit from the fish but needs more capital to boost her business. 

Hayat Pitia (right) sells perfumes and makes a good living. She is thankful that the loan has kept her happy and making good profit. She started with a 5,000 SSP loan and now accesses 15,000 SSP. She needs more capital to boost her business. 

provides food for family



Asunta sells greens, peanuts and flour. She is able to feed her family in the surburbs of Juba but would like more capital to boost her business.

 

 

 

 

happy

good income



Grace Juan is happy baking bread. A container of 10 pieces of bread sells for 500 SSP (US$4).

 

 

 

 

 

Foundations for Farming Training (UGA08)

Introduction

Juba is the capital of South Sudan situated in the state of Jubek following an increase in the number of states from 10 to now 28 states. There is currently a relatively peaceful situation in Juba with many business persons from Kenya, Uganda and Sudan frequenting the country. A few missionaries are in Juba. Churches are doing well in preaching the word but do not have the capacity to develop projects that are more interventional in reaching people in need. 90% of families can hardly afford a meal per day due to the high inflation that has hit the local government paid workers. International workers or employees of international NGOs enjoy the situation in Juba with most of them having their families in the neighbouring East African countries of Uganda, Kenya or in Khartoum-Sudan which is hit with same problems of inflation.

Training

equipped with new skillsA total of 18 farmers were trained in Juba, being equipped with the Foundations for Farming method in the area of door sized gardening due to their inability to access their villages because of insecurity. The training was held in Atlabara residential area hosted at the premises of the Every Home for Christ (Every Home Crusade).

The participants comprised of both men and women with the majority from Gudele area, a newly created area following the return of the South Sudanese from refuge in 2005. They welcomed the training wholeheartedly and availed themselves throughout the three days training.The training dates were adjusted to run from Monday 25th - Wednesday 27th February.

The emphasis was placed on urban gardening with kitchen gardening as the core centre of training due to the limitation of land in the city of Juba except within abandoned plots of land in Gudele where owners have fled for refuge in neighbouring countries. 

Achievement

new skillsThe training was very successful with 18 farmers trained for three days.

Another 26 farmers were trained last year in February 2018 making a total of 44 already trained in Foundations for Farming in Juba but with no farm inputs supplied to them. 

Challenges

Unfortunately the trainings have not been accompanied with the supply of farm inputs although the trainees were more like refugees or displaced persons. Most are surviving from hand to mouth and have no savings to put towards acquisition of farm inputs. They are merely beneficiaries of intervention programmes. The population has been crippled for decades to depend on markets for every vegetable for family use. This makes life very tough.

With the high inflation some women have become unruly to their husbands with involvement in going out with other seemingly financially able men in order to get money to feed their family especially the children.

Salaries range from 2,500 - 5,000 SSP (US$20-$40) for classified staff yet a mere plate of a good meal at the restaurant cost 2,000 SSP including some juice or water. The situation benefits only those involved in business or working with NGOs that pay in US dollars. Most NGOs pay their least staff, i.e. drivers, ranging from US$700-US$1,500 per month.

Since the majority are either unemployed, or business persons or working not with NGOs but with the government, the majority of the people are suffering with high changes of starvation.

Way Forward

theoryThe FfF training should be supplemented with the supply of farm inputs (seeds and tools) for the first season and then farmers encouraged to buy their own inputs for the second season and so on. Farm inputs should be provided to newly trained farmers at the closure of the first season or the beginning of every season which means training should always be done close to the beginning of every new season targeting new farmers. Old farmers will not be repeatedly trained to enable expansion of the number of farmers trained and enable more farmers to benefit from the training.

Supervision ought to be regular by extension workers appointed from among the trainees and from the ministries on a quarterly basis. This creates commitment among the farmers and the extension worker. Furthermore the extension worker ought to be allocated some funds on a monthly basis to encourage him/her to work alongside the farmers.