On the Friday 20th November, 2020, Tranz Network Uganda held an event to launch a new initiative entitled the Transgender Resilience and Economic Empowerment (TREE) project. The launch was attended by heads of the network member organizations, representatives from the Board and various stakeholders both physically and virtually.
What is the Tree Project?
The TREE project is an eighteen (18) month livelihood and economic intervention program funded by American Jewish World Service (AJWS).
The transgender people in Uganda over the years have been one of the most marginalized populations. An environment rich in Trans phobia fueled by social cultural biases have seen a large number of transgender persons drop out of school and left with no formal sources of income.
The TREE project aims to build social capital and resilience of Trans community members in Uganda through the formation of saving groups (VSLA model), promotion of financial inclusion, entrepreneurship and vocational skills development and linkage to other social economic empowerment activities.
- To contribute to the economic transformation of Trans gender persons in Uganda.
- To enhance VSLA skills among 90 transgender persons in Uganda by March 2022.
- To increase employment opportunities among 90 transgender persons through vocational skills development by March 2022.
Key activities to be conducted include;
- A baseline needs assessment of the livelihood/economic empowerment needs and available opportunities for the targeted transgender persons/beneficiaries to inform the project design.
- To organize beneficiaries into groups based on Village Saving Loan Associations model where beneficiaries will be grouped with 15 members and trained on VSLA principles and methodologies.
- Training of group members on leadership, financial, literacy, income generation activities and roles of good leadership.
- Equipping of group members with saving tool kits which include lockable metallic box, pass books, stamps, record books, writing materials etc. Each group is expected to run a saving cycle of up to 12 months after which they can share their savings and begin a new cycle.
- Training of group members on entrepreneurship skills including enterprise selection once they have begun saving.
- Support vocational skilling for eligible members identified through the groups to provide Trans persons with employment skills, competencies relevant to the labor market.
This project is informed by the Trans specific needs assessment conducted as part of the Cross-Border collaboration Health project where over 56% of members expressed interest in adopting the VSLA skills.