The Ziika Microfinance Project
Empowering Women, Educating Daughters & Sustaining Families
Through the Global Learning Program, Walsh University students travel to Uganda's Ziika Village to continue the work of the Ziika Microfinance Project. The project seeks funding for women to start or grow their businesses and to support their daughters' education.
- January 2012 - The first group of eight women took a six-week financial literacy education course offered at Kisubi Brothers University College. After completing the course, they submitted business plans that included business goals, budgets and loan requests.
- May 2012 - The first loans, totaling $2,500, were distributed.
- January 2013 - Seven of the eight women paid their first loans. Once paid, the women are eligible to take out a second loan to expand their business.
- Spring 2013 - The second financial literacy education course is set to begin for another group of about eight women.
- 2014 - Walsh students had the opportunity to learn directly from the Ziika women about their businesses with activities such as craft and brick making.
- July 2015 - Walsh students reciprocated by teaching the Ziika women and their children how to use mobile tablets donated by Walsh faculty members. The students put together a program on how to use the technology that included built-in English and math literacy programs.
The Faces of the Ziika Project
Mary is a mother of nine children. She took a loan to expand her brick making business. Brick making is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. Her business employs several young men in her village. Mary said her business goals are "to work hard to see that I can support my children and to buy a half-truck to avoid hand carrying the product."
Loan Amount: $260
Agnes has three children and supports herself and her family with a gift and retail shop. She took the loan to expand her business. "I have interest in (running a retail shop)," Agnes explained. "In our area, we do not have these businesses. She said her goals are "to make it good and get some profit from it, to make the business bigger and from there to make a poultry farm."
Loan Amount: $600
Mrs. Pelagia Luyima
Mrs. Luyima is a mother of six and grandmother of one. She grows mushrooms to sell at market and also makes high-quality crafts with banana leaves and bark cloth. When asked about her business, Mrs. Luyima said "I do my business from home and the place is free. I want to educate my children."
Loan Amount: $500
Margaret supports herself and her triplets by selling charcoal. She started the business because she has a small shed where she can store stacks of charcoal and matooke (steamed green bananas), the national dish of Uganda. "If my business prospers, I could go abroad—for instance, Kenya—and start selling mobile phones and cloth.
Loan Amount: $140
Namaye Rose Gesa
Mushrooms and Animal Feeds
Rose is a mother of four. She took a loan to expand her business of growing mushrooms to sell to local markets and restaurants. She also sells animal feeds. "My dream, I want to move a step from where I am, especially financially, to acquire more knowledge so that my family can live in a better economic environment and acquire education," Rose said. "The women in my environment lack certain things and they can at least be educated. I wish that for my community and myself.
Loan Amount: $500
Financial donations to the Ziika Microfinance Project can be sent to:
Walsh University - Ziika Project
2020 East Maple Street
North Canton, OH 44720