UNRESTRICTED FUND
Unrestricted fund supports through grantmaking initiatives of formally established community based organizations, CBOs directed towards tackling issues which negatively impact on the social enterprises in Masindi.

Grantmaking under this fund is guided by the outcomes from Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation, PME  which single out certain issues most likely to hinder the local citizens from managing their social enterprises effectively.

The justification for this program is that local citizens cannot achieve poverty relief if certain issues hindering them from effectively managing their enterprises are not tackled.

Below is a list of our grantees working to facilitate asset based community driven development, abcd in ensuring sustained socio-economic development for poverty relief in Masindi, supported by unrestricted fund.

Budongo Silo Builders Association, BUSIBA: During MCF’s Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation, PME workshops with the social enterprises, the common problem raised by the local citizens was post-harvest losses due to poor storage of produce. MCF made a grant to BUSIBA to build and supply modern storage silos to the social enterprises/CBOs. The modern granaries which were designed in accordance with the appropriate specifications as obtained from the Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO manual are helping eliminate the problem of postharvest losses due to poor storage of produce hence improving livelihoods.

Modern storage silos built by BUSIBA

Safe Plan Uganda, SPU: During MCF’s Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation, PME workshops with the social enterprises, another common problem raised by the local citizens was high expenses on charcoal due to poor quality cook stoves. To enable the local citizens eliminate this expense and thus retain income which would contribute to local economic development, the foundation worked with SPU, a non-profit organization based in Masindi to train the social enterprises how to make improved energy saving charcoal stoves. An improved energy saving charcoal stove is a stove that needs far less charcoal to cook the same amount of food than a traditional stove and consequently produces also far less smoke than a traditional stove. Improved stoves save about 50% of charcoal and produce less smoke thus reducing considerably the phenomenon of indoor air pollution due to bad combustion.

Improved energy saving charcoal stove

Appropriate Rural Technology Institute, ARTI Uganda: In the year 2011, MCF made a grant worth $7,616 to ARTI Uganda to train the social enterprises how to make efficient charcoal briquettes from postharvest agricultural wastes easily like maize cobs, leaves, bean/rice husks, straws e.t.c which are often disposed off after harvest, under the project Appropriate Rural Technology Development, ARTD as opposed to the traditional system of deforestation for wood fuel. The local citizens then market these clean burning charcoal briquettes and obtain income to improve and sustain their livelihoods or utilize the briquettes for cooking purposes, thus eliminating expenses on traditional charcoal. The project is making huge impact on the environment and livelihoods of the local citizens. The justification for the project was the rampant deforestation in Masindi. Deforestation was being attributed to the meagre income of local citizens obtained from other activities like farming which are insufficient to meet their needs. In the quest for more income, various forest patches in the different subcounties in the district have been destroyed for charcoal production or more land for farming. Deforestation was the major cause of climatic variations/drastic changes in agricultural seasons which in turn affected agricultural activities and output in the district. Trees are important elements in absorbing CO2 produced into the atmosphere through burning of crop residues and emission of CO2 from automobiles, which they use to manufacture food. Thus deforestation increases the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Variations in CO2 concentration influence climate variations especially rainfall patterns and thus agricultural seasons. Changes in rainfall pattern/agricultural seasons affect agricultural activities and thus output. Thus there was need to conserve trees and avoid deforestation to achieve uniformity in agricultural seasons and thus increased agricultural output for the social enterprises particularly agricultural enterprises. The project has created sustainable jobs for 650 people in Masindi, by enabling them develop charcoal briquette producing social enterprises (farmers produce efficient charcoal briquettes from postharvest agricultural wastes readily obtained as opposed to the traditional system of deforestation for charcoal production). The enterprises have so far yielded income of at least $4,200 to the community members since November 2011. MCF offers mentoring and training to the social enterprises, and they’ve been able to utilize income earned from the briquette enterprises as capital to set up other micro-enterprises like poultry or piggery, and initiate savings and credit schemes. MCF continues to provide mentoring and training services to the groups about how to manage their social micro-enterprises during Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation, PME workshops.

One of the charcoal briquette enterprises established by ARTI-Uganda

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