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We are driving our own development.

We are driving our own development.

My name is Rose Zakiya. I am a member of Nyabyeya Crafts Group, a community based organization, CBO we established through technical support from Masindi Community Foundation, MCF.

MCF’s Community Asset Mapping and Development for Sustainable Development, CAMDSD workshops helped us; (i) understand our skills and capacities which we never knew existed (ii) unearth assets, opportunities and potentials in Budongo subcounty. We were then able to link our skills and capacities to the assets, opportunities in Budongo subcounty.

Through CAMDSD workshops I realized that I had knowledge about crafts making. I was able to link my craftsmanship skills to assets i.e. materials for crafts making readily available in Budongo forest and opportunity i.e. market for crafts from tourists who visit Budongo forest to see chimpanzees.

Our CBO which currently has 21 members actively engaged in the project is steadily developing because we’re making substantial profits from sale of crafts to tourists.

Through CAMDSD 10 other CBOs were formed i.e. Balijukira poultry group, Nyabyeya census goat group, Budongo united carpenters association (BUCA), Superica rice group, Management chapaati enterprise group, Courageous vegetable group, Nyabyeya tailoring group, Nyabyeya bee keeping group, Tweteranize hamu maize group and Nyabyeya brickmaking group.

The most important unique aspect of CAMDSD is that a person is able to realize how his/her skills compliment another person’s skills and thus help people form themselves into suitable social enterprise groups based on their skills, talents, knowledge, capacities in given fields and opportunities which they’re able to exploit in line with their skills and capacities to improve their livelihoods.

This is in contradiction to the traditional model of social enterprise development where there is lack of common goals and objectives within them.  For example, a group containing a carpenter, poultry farmer and cattle keeper are clearly unable to work together to improve their livelihoods and find a common purpose within a social enterprise vehicle.

We’re now able to access services more effectively i.e. extension services from local government and other MCF partner organizations, and demand for better prices for our products.

MCF’s Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation, PME workshops help us in continuously developing our skills in operating and scaling our enterprises so as to increase income levels. PME workshops also aid in identifying issues which negatively impact on our enterprises; enabling MCF to take appropriate actions

All the 11 CBOs have since come together to form Nyabyeya Development Association, NYADA, currently having 102 members. NYADA’s role among others is to mobilize funds from the CBOs. MCF provided matching grant in the ratio of 1:2 so as to increase the savings.

CAMDSD has made us shift our thinking from “this is what we lack” to “we are richer than we realized” because instead of focusing on our problems (what we lack), we’re utilizing our own skills, capacities, assets and opportunities in Budongo to improve our livelihoods out of the poverty cycle.

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