Anyim Maber (Better and Bright Future) Project

20 Jan 2024
4 min read

What the Anyim Maber Project hopes to solve or improve and why?

Sightsavers, in collaboration with the European Union, has entered a grant contract to support the implementation of the initiative titled "Anyim Maber (bright and better future): Enhanced opportunities for employment and employability for youth with disabilities."

To effectively carry out the project activities in selected regions of the country, Sightsavers has enlisted the partnership of other organizations such as Challenges Worldwide, NODIPU, and NOWUDU. The overarching goal is to achieve Social Economic Empowerment for both female and male youth with disabilities in Oyam, Nwoya, Gulu, and Amuru.

The project targets two main categories of persons with disabilities: entrepreneurs and job seekers. Challenges Worldwide has been assigned the responsibility of collaborating with entrepreneurs and overseeing the implementation of various project activities to fulfill the overall objective.

Challenges Worldwide, operating through Challenges Uganda, has successfully established its footprint in all project districts and initiated the implementation of activities aligned with the overarching objective. The initial phase involved the recruitment of 120 entrepreneurs, divided into two cohorts of 60 entrepreneurs each.

During the project's first year, Challenges Uganda has effectively delivered business development support services to the initial cohort. This support has been provided through hands-on training, encompassing interactive sessions, group discussions, case studies, and practical exercises. As a result, participants have acquired essential skills and knowledge that empower them to adeptly manage their businesses, enhance productivity, boost profitability and access financing.

A crucial aspect of business development support involves facilitating entrepreneurs' access to financial services. In collaboration with commercial offices across different districts, our team conducted a thorough mapping exercise of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in the region. We initiated discussions with MFIs, Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs), and Banks in various districts, advocating for the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in their product offerings.

Concurrently, we held constructive discussions with commercial offices regarding the participants in the Anyim Maber project. These discussions focused on the potential direct benefits for project participants, such as from programs like PDM, Special Grant, and other government initiatives. The commercial offices provided valuable insights into the requirements and suggested subsequent steps for these programs.

Challenges has also collaborated with two organizations dedicated to persons with disabilities to enhance their capacity. This collaboration aims to enable them to support and mentor entrepreneurs with disabilities, contributing to the sustainability of the project's objectives.

Learnings and conclusions?

There exists a void in the grassroots-level integration of persons with disabilities into socio-economic empowerment. Initiatives like Anyim Maber, focused on active advocacy, empowerment, and engagement of people with disabilities, have a profound impact on beneficiary communities. This approach results in the creation of employment opportunities, enhanced business management skills, heightened economic activity, and the fostering of social inclusion. Successfully implementing these project activities promises sustainable economic development, elevated household incomes, and consequently, improved living standards for individuals and families who are part of the project.