The year 2008 was another successful year for Uganda Change Agent Association (UCAA) during which most of the planned activities for the achievement of our vision and mission were carried out. It also marked the end of our three-year strategic plan that is titled “Capacity Liberation for Economic, Political and Social Development” for the period 2006 to 2008.
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 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 in order to contribute to the achievement of our vision of standards of living in poor rural households improved through self-reliant participatory efforts of members of those households.
Activities intended for the stimulation of economic development were carried out 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.
Activities intended for the stimulation of political development were carried out 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 were able to stand for office, were elected members of parliament and local councillors.
Activities intended for the stimulation of social development were carried out 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.
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.
UCAA continued to maintain its asset base and to utilise its assets in a frugal manner. These assets included visible and invisible assets such as full-time paid professional staff, volunteer Change Agents and development workers, financial resources, buildings and land, vehicles, training and office equipment.
UCAA membership continued to grow as more change Agents graduated and as more development partners appreciated the work of UCAA.
UCAA was able to generate its own income that contributed 9% of its expenses in the year 2008. UCAA funding partners continued to show confidence and trust in the work of UCAA through their generous financial contributions that contributed to 91% of the income that covered UCAA’s expenses in 2008.
UCAA still faced challenges that have the potential of impacting negatively on its work, in the form of negative effects of micro-finance 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 country, Uganda.
Dr. Maggie Kigozi