1,000 households in Kyamuhunga Sub County, Bushenyi District have received financial assistance under the Give Directly project. The 5.3 Billion Shillings initiative is being piloted in 12 villages in the parishes of Kakoni and Swazi.
According to Esther Anykun, State Minister for Relief, Refugees, and Disaster Preparedness, the success of the project will determine whether the government will roll it throughout the country.
The inception of the project follows a memorandum of Understanding that was signed by the Ministry of Local Government, with Give Directly, an international organization. Each beneficiary receives 3.5 million shillings.
Anykun said that the Give Directly approach is different from other donors who give money to implementing partners.
Lucy Abulo, the head of Government and External Relations at Give Directly said the program complements the Parish Development Model initiative (PDM) and also targets households living in poverty.
Abulo said that giving money directly to beneficiaries will transform the lives of families by enabling them to have funds that they will invest in their livelihoods such as the purchase of productive assets, agriculture, and small businesses.
In March 2023, a pilot project was initiated through an MOU signed between Give Directly and the Ministry of Local Government on behalf of the government. Additional MOUs were signed between GiveDirectly and the two districts of Bushenyi and Nakapiripirit.
Since then, a total of 5.3 billion shillings has been distributed through cash transfers to 2,000 households in Bushenyi and Nakapiripirit districts.
Jafar Basajabalaba the Bushenyi LCV Chairperson urged the beneficiaries to put the funds to proper use and called for the evaluation of the project for better results.
Elia Mugasho, a Boda Boda rider and a beneficiary said that previously it was hard for him to provide a meal for his family but when he received 3.5 Million shillings his life transformed after he bought a cow, and a new motorcycle.
“I used to earn between 5,000 and 10,000 shillings a day so this money was not enough to sustain the whole family and cover other expenses and rent. I could no longer afford to pay school fees for my children, but since Give Directly came in I am able to afford and sustain my family”.
Robert Mugarura, another beneficiary said that he invested the money in the coffee business which brought him a profit of 7 million Shillings. He said that he was able to construct a house and also started a goat business.
In 2020, GiveDirectly operations were indefinitely suspended by the National Bureau for NGOs. The National Bureau claimed that an investigation had found that GiveDirectly’s cash handouts were likely to make Ugandans lazy and promote idleness, domestic violence, dependency syndrome, and tension within neighboring villages.