The role of community based-organizations in improving the welfare of women in Kawempe Division, Kampala City
Nalubinga, Gertrude Mwebaza
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This study examined the role of Kawempe Home-Based Caregivers Alliance (KHBCA), a Community-Based Organization (CBO) in improving the wellbeing of its female members. Specifically, the study aimed to: analyze the recruitment and membership criteria, identify the welfare activities implemented by members, establish the extent membership in KHBCA contributed to improved welfare, and document the challenges women in KHBCA faced in implementing activities. A total of 68 female members participated in the cross-sectional study in which both qualitative and quantitative research methods were employed. Study findings revealed that members of KHBCA undertake multiple income-generating activities (IGAs) to improve their welfare with the most common and effective being: bakery, making of candles, crafts, charcoal briquettes, liquid soap and stationery. A quarter (25%) of KHBCA members rely on the IGAs as their main source of income. CBO members with secondary and higher education level were performing relatively better than those with less or no education, for they could multi-task to earn from the IGA and other income sources. Besides IGAs, members were involved in other activities such as petty trading, casual labour, subsistence farming and self-employment and formal jobs of employment. Engagement in the welfare activities is facilitated by teamwork, moral values, good leadership, consistent attendance of trainings and a good savings culture among other factors. It strongly emerged that one’s education level can greatly affect their IGA’s performance. Inadequate capital to support activities, limited access/lack of market for products, lack of workspace and high expectations of some CBO members were the major challenges faced by women in KHBCA. Due to these challenges some women would abandon the activities or would not be fully engaged in the activities due to low motivation as well as due to little or no pay. Despite women’s engagement in multiple welfare promotion activities under the CBO, women still found difficulties to sustain their livelihoods. CBOs require capacity building in governance to strengthen their coordination and growth. They also need to prioritize documentation of their processes and activities to promote progressive learning and adoption of best practices.