By Kampala Post Reporter
MBALE. The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has encouraged women of Mbale District who have been undergoing a financial literacy skills training that they can use their big numbers to form their own Bank.
The First Lady was addressing thousands of women at the closing of a Women’s Conference on Financial Empowerment at Mbale Secondary School on Tuesday where she was the Guest of Honour.
The Conference organized by Inspired Women Rural Association was under the theme “Empowering Women, the Best Way to Fight Crime”.
“Work as hard as possible, deliberately and strategically and plan to save something you would form a Bank that even the World Bank would recognize,” Mrs. Museveni told the women of Mbale. She cited the motivational example of the success story of women in Bangladesh who were poor and uneducated but worked so hard and used their big numbers to save money and formed the Grameen Bank.
She thanked the team of Police and Crime Preventers led by ASP Steven Ahweera the former District Police Commander of Mbale who conceived and initiated the idea of training women saying this is the true meaning of Community Policing and positive interaction between the Police Force and the communities.
She thanked the Bank of Uganda and the Team of experts from other Banking institutions including Bank of Baroda, Posta Bank and FINCA for carrying out the training.
She said not many people can go out of their way to help others and that is why Government programmes fail because some of those managing them are selfish.
“Training women and imparting knowledge and practical skills to them is indeed the best way to empower them, not just to fight crime but to enable them pull themselves up and find ways of improving the quality of their lives and the lives of their family members,” Mrs. Museveni said.
She urged the women not to be selfish but to share the knowledge and encourage many more women to join so that they can rely on their numbers to grow. She also gave an example of the WAZALENDO SACCO which every UPDF Soldier saves with and has been able to grow money in Billions of shillings.
“Women of this country can do something like that and more. Don’t look at yourselves as those who can’t do anything because you have the potential to do a lot,” she said.
Speaking about the School feeding, Mrs. Museveni said it is a shame for parents in Mbale, a place which is blessed with much rain and which can produce enough food, to also let their children go to school on an empty stomach. She also encouraged them to feed their families on nutritious foods. “Let us all feed our children so they can remain in school,” she said.
She also urged the women to take it upon themselves as mothers to prevent and stop child marriages and teenage pregnancies and to also take precautions and avoid the spread of HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
The Vision bearer and founder of Inspired Women Rural Association ASP Stephen Ahweera reported that so far 10,000 women have benefitted from the financial literacy training. He said they have partnered with Bank of Uganda and other Commercial Banks to rollout more training and reach more women and they plan to train 3 million women in Eastern Uganda in the next five years. He commended their partners Jenga and Innovation Africa for their support.
The Woman MP Mbale Hon. Connie Nakayenze Galiwango appreciated the training for the women saying that the women as mothers are very important with big responsibilities and they need support and empowerment.
The function was also attended by Mrs. Angelina Wapakabulo Uganda’s former High Commissioner to Kenya, MPs Sarah Nambozo Wekomba (Bulambuli), Alex Burundo (Bulambuli), Apollo Masika (Bubulo East) and Florence Namboozo (Sironko).
At the function, the First Lady was recognized as the Champion of Women Empowerment in Uganda.