Uganda Change Agent Association (UCAA) has successfully completed two of the three years of its current three-year strategic plan that is titled “Capacity Liberation for Economic, Political and Social Development” for the period 2006 to 2008. The year 2007 was the second year of this strategic plan. In general, it was a successful year for UCAA during which most of the planned activities were carried out for the achievement of our mission and our vision.
UCAA’s mission is to ensure that poor rural men and women are liberated and are able to initiate their own self-reliant economic, political and social development processes. UCAA’s vision is that standards of living in poor rural households improved through self-reliant participatory efforts of members of those households.
UCAA carried out activities intended for the stimulation of economic development that enabled poor rural men and women to work together in self-help development groups through which they are successfully operating their own group savings schemes, their own group credit schemes and earning income from payments of dividends that they receive as a result of their membership in these groups. Individual poor rural men and women were enabled to initiate, invest in and manage their own viable income generating activities that contributed to increasing their incomes at household levels.
UCAA carried out activities intended for the stimulation of political development that enabled poor rural men and women to become consciously awakened, to begin to question why conditions around them are the way they are, to realise the need for them to take responsibility to reverse trends that negatively affect their livelihoods. Change Agents, ordinary women and men, were liberated and found the confidence to stand for office, were elected members of parliament and local councillors and are effectively representing their constituencies.
UCAA carried out activities intended for the stimulation of social development that encouraged the formation of associations and enabled Change Agents to link poor rural men and women to other service providers and to voluntarily work with thousands of self-help groups. Self-help groups were motivated to establish formal linkages with their respective local administrations.
The UCAA gender policy was actively implemented ensuring that the knowledge, attitudes and practices of men and women in Uganda were improved with regards to gender issues. There was a major change in the UCAA leadership which saw Lucy Akello Ayena take over on 1st September as Executive Director from Norah Owaraga who left to further her career after successfully completing her four-year contract.
UCAA continued to maintain its asset base and to utilise these assets in a frugal manner. These assets included full-time paid professional staff, volunteer Change Agents and development workers, financial resources, buildings, land, vehicles, training and office equipment.
UCAA was able to generate its own income that covered 14% of its expenses in the year 2007. UCAA funding partners continued to show confidence and trust in the work of UCAA through their generous financial contributions that contributed to 86% of the income that covered UCAA’s expenses in 2007.
UCAA faced challenges that are impacting negatively on its work, in the form of negative effects of microfinance lending institutions, corruption in Uganda, Ugandan’s insufficient understanding of the multi-party democratic system of governance, and high levels of illiteracy amongst the majority of Ugandans.
However, UCAA is satisfied that its work and that of the Change Agents countrywide is impacting positively on the lives of thousands of poor rural men and women, their families, common-interest self-help groups, communities and our nation, Uganda, at large.
UCAA liberated the capacities of thousands of poor rural men and women and the standards of living in the households of these men and women improved through their own efforts.