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In an effort to bridge the gap between those who have and those in need, a needy family in Uganda mostly widow, elderly and child headed is linked to another family in USA and Europe for sponsorship. This project is part of “Hope never Runs Dry” program.

Poorest of the poor families are identified with help of community members and leaders through community meetings which are convened by our project staff. Through these meetings, community members are asked to identify the poorest in their village, after a long discussion the list of family names are ranked starting with the most needy to the least needy. Following this, our staff is tasked to carryout family visits to meet the identified families for registration and to discuss the challenges and needs of the family. During this interaction, family members are explained how the information gathered will assist in identifying sponsors who may be willing to help.


Using this approach, a number ranging from 20-30 families are identified within two adjacent villages and grouped into a village savings and loans association (VSLA) to enable families learn how to save part of their income and also borrow more funds from the group to invest in viable enterprises with guidance from the trainers.

The association is trained in VSLA methodology, selection planning and enterprise management. During the 3rd year, the associations are linked to a micro finance bank (linkage banking) depending on the capacity and investment needs of each association. The associations helps families to avoid the misuse of money, families with more knowledge are encouraged to help others in planning and setting priorities, work and decide together about their own priorities, increase the relationship between themselves, avoid laziness among some family members, jealousy will decrease, communication and getting information will be easy as families will often be together, problems or conflicts between families will be solved in the association since they will be having their own rules and regulations to follow.


The beneficiary family receives financial donation of US$100 every month or US$300 every quarter from its sponsor. There’re 4 quarters in a year and the family may receive additional gifts in form of livestock, beddings, shelter and household items from the sponsor.


Once money is received by ITI, the bank is instructed to wire 75% to the family’s bank account. 15% is retained by the organization for administrative costs such as conducting family and monitoring visits, stationary for trainings, transport and communication and staff costs. During these trainings, families receive knowledge and skills in agriculture, simple book keeping, setting priorities and budgeting, hygiene and sanitation practices, nutrition and how to manage income generating projects. They are also empowered on using banking services.


This is the biggest difference between ITI and other organizations. This approach is very good as it helps the families to get their assistance directly without passing to different intermediaries and ensures that the family joins self-help groups and is able to start income generating projects and become self-sufficient within 3 years. Families are trained and engaged in sustainable and lucrative businesses such as selling merchandise, selling vegetables, banana, beans and fruits, selling second hand clothes, making and selling baskets, beads and handcrafts, running small restaurants and telephone booths. With this, the families are can afford better clothing, health/medical care, better housing and good diet.


After the 1st year, the families expected results will include but not be limited to:

  • Able to get enough to eat

  • Able to get clean clothes and shoes

  • Able to maintain the land where they have their house

  • Able to have a latrine and a compost

  • Able to send children at school

  • Able to get medicines

  • Able to manage the money by themselves and to think about their priorities

  • Depending on how business oriented they are, some families will start their own businesses

  • Able to have enough seeds

  • Have agriculture training

On the 2nd year, the family will be:

  • Able to save for small business

  • Able to save for a new home

  • Able to send children to school

  • Able to have livestock (e.g. cows, goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits)

  • Able to have enough crops enabling them to eat better and sell some

  • Sharing with other families that are not under the GFR sponsorship program (crops, livestock, etc.)

On the 3rd year, the family will:

  • Be able to start a small business

  • Have enough savings and use the income from the business to start a home project

  • Be able to continue supporting themselves in basic needs and sending children to school

The sponsor receives 2 reports per year, from ITI, indicating the progress made by the family. Additionally, the sponsored families are encouraged to write letters to their sponsors at least once a year. Finally, sponsors are also encouraged to write letters to their Ugandan families and share any information about their families.

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