Mothers Initiatives Africa (MIA), Mbale, Uganda

Mothers’ Initiatives is a Community Based Organisation (CBO) in Uganda which works with vulnerable women and girls to improve their access to quality healthcare and education and to provide the means of economic empowerment. It is a very small and junior organisation, founded by 4 women in 2012. They are working towards becoming a registered NGO soon. They started a Village Savings and Loans Scheme which provides the capitol for small businesses. Mothers’ Initiatives is a group of about 35 women who are mostly single mothers. some were forced to drop out of school because of early pregnancies, some have left their husbands and a few are commercial sex workers.

 

As well as the small loans scheme, MIA runs training on income generating activities such as candle and liquid soap making, mushroom growing and arts and crafts. A separate project teaches women and girls how to make reusable sanitary pads, designed to tackle one reason why girls cannot go to school. They also provide training on hygiene, nutrition, family planning and mothers’ and women’s rights (including what they are entitled to from absent fathers). The women also offer psychosocial counselling to the commercial sex workers, helping them to overcome the stigma they face in the community.