How Cooperatives Have Transformed Busia Teachers

Busia Walimu development cooperative limited is still servicing it's commencement, from the shillings one hundred million two years loan from Walimu Union SACCO, but the beneficiaries walk with their heads high.

Given the meager pay they take home, it's rare to see a typical primary school teacher on government payroll free of stress, however, this is not the cases with members of the Busia Walimu development cooperative limited.

Registered on April 29, 2015, by the ministry of cooperatives, the cooperative has only 43 members through the district. This is the few that dared to heed President Yoweri Museveni's idea and forming cooperatives.

This was after Museveni met teacher’s leaders in Mbale town in 2014 and encouraged them to form cooperatives noting it was the only way the government would channel money to their cooperatives through Walimu Union SACCO. Dorothy Nafula the chairperson says despite the highest loan the cooperative gives to members being shillings three million, the loans have greatly changed the members' lives.

"We undertake enterprise ranging from poultry, retail shops, produce to tree planting," she notes adding her members are doing well compared to other teachers who are non-members. Through such projects, she says teachers have been able to educate their children in relatively good schools and also live a decent lifestyle within their means.

She appeals to other teachers to join the cooperative in order to put the government under pressure to increase the money allocated to Walimu SACCO union so that more teachers can apply and get loans to improve their lives.

Francis Akol a member says that as teachers wait for the government to improve their salary, they should exploit the Walimu SACCO window and engage in other viable productive ventures. "Let's all join the cooperative and move together," he says, adding that government works with organized groups.

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