Entrepreneur and Life Skills Development (ELSD)
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To better create a sustainable economic status to the people we serve, MADI has adopted the model of “Passing on a Gift” original designed by Heifer International, an organization that helped the founder of MADI and his family get out of poverty. Through this program of passing on a gift, his family was able to get out of poverty and was able to help other families benefit from the same system.
According to this model, families share the training they receive, and pass on the first female offspring of their livestock to another family. This extends the impact of the original gift, allowing a once impoverished family to become donors and full participants in improving their communities. MADI has extended the items in this model to include not only animals but also things like craft and small business start ups.
ENTREPRENUERSHIP & LIFESKILLS DEVELOPMENT [ELD] PROGRAM
With a per capita income of under US$170, Uganda today is one of the poorest countries in the world (World Bank, 2012) Indeed, it is a living testament of the havoc caused by the political turmoil and economic decline brought about by more than a decade of despotic rule.
Ninety-two percent of the poor live in the countryside, although only 89 percent of the population is classified as rural. Not only is poverty more widespread in rural areas, it is also more severe. Rural people also spend about half as much as urban dwellers. Accordingly, poverty-related indicators, such as household size, dependency ratio, and illiteracy, are higher for rural Uganda. In particular, poorer households tend to have older and less educated household heads, and are more likely to be headed by a woman according to report by World Bank.
Life expectancy for men and women is one of the lowest in the world, and this is unlikely to improve in the near future. AIDS has emerged as a significant cause of death and illness among young children; thus, the already high infant and child mortality rates can be expected to rise. Among children under five, who account for over half of hospital deaths, the main killers are malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, and malnutrition. Malaria has been found to be the principal killer among adults admitted to hospitals, while diarrhea, pneumonia, and anemia are almost as common as AIDS as reported primary causes of death.
Our Response to poverty in Uganda is based on the issues gathered overtime using the community issue matrix tool and the 8- Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Entrepreneurship & Life skills Development Programme therefore, focuses only on 5 of the MDGs: 1, 3, 6,7and 8, as listed here below:
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Ensure environmental sustainability.
- Develop global partnership for development.
MADI has sets its eyes on developing practical entrepreneurship schemes for both young people in school and out of school; this is designed to awaken the entrepreneurship mind of young people through practical Life Skills Development Clubs/groups in schools and communities.
Current projects include:
- Piggery project in Olilim and Olongnia villages in Kumi.
Over 35 men and women are now benefiting from our piggery project design to help families out of poverty. Beneficiaries were identified and groups formed and trained. After a successful completion of the training, they are offered two piglets, (male and female). When they reach maturity in about six months, the female is expected to produce minimum of 8 piglets. She will repeat the process three times in a year. That gives a family an average of 15 piglets in a year and by the end of one year, the first bath has reach maturity and are ready to reproduce.
This project increases a family chances of breaking the cycle of poverty exponentially. The beneficiary is obligated to pass on two piglets to the next benefiting family thereby fulfilling the model of “passing on a gift” as practiced by Heifer International and as adopted by MADI. Our goal is to reach 500 beneficiaries in four years who are economically independent as a result of benefiting from this program. We plan to exceed that expectation.
Thanks to this program, families will have food to eat and money to pay expenses ranging from medical bills to tuition and improved habitation.
- Arts and Craft:
This program is headed by individuals with established arts skills who are willing to share that skill with others who need it in the community. Given the rate of school dropouts which is high, many young men and women often lack the job skills needed to make them succeed in life. Plugging them to learn some kind of arts work or trade like sewing, carpentry, building, can enhance their chance of succeeding in life and keep them from falling into poverty.
- The Canteen Project:
High school students who are members of the MADI Clubs are given the opportunity to run a small business on campus. Working with school officials in a partnership, MADI finance a small school canteen to provide goods such as writing pads, pens and pencils, snacks, and other basic but necessary school supplies that students need.
This project will provide a hands on experience to the youngsters who are ready to leave high school and face the real world mostly on their own. It will also enhance their survival skills as they navigate different avenues to find that perfect career. It may also be a starting place for many who will engage in some kind of small business which is the case with most high school graduates in the rural areas.
Students will also learn the valuable skills of working as business partners as they share roles and responsibilities as well as make critical decisions that shape the future of a business.
- Farm-to-market Project:
MADI brings in thousands of pairs of shoes to distribute to the poor. Giving shoes to those who don’t have is critical for us but we also want to see peoples lives change from being poor to becoming self sustainable. Among the people we serve in these communities are also people who sell items like shoes to make a living. MADI is committed to making sure that our help to the poor should not destroy the local economy. That means protecting the guys at the corner who sells shoes to make a living.
To support and promote the idea of getting people out of poverty, MADI carefully select beneficiaries who will be trained in basic business skills and money management. These beneficiaries will then be given a number of shoes to start up a small business that will grow to support themselves and their families. Each beneficiary is obliged to pay back a small percentage of the proceeds that will be used to help the next beneficiary and expand the program.