This project was initially designed as an emergency response during the first lockdown. During this time public transport was difficult and the future of many people seamed to be insecure. The Self Help Group (SHG) project is a multi-input resilience project which started by forming 8 small groups of 20 people per group in the communities of Lubani, Mabira, Bubugo, Nabukosi, Kilanga and Lumuli. The idea was to bring together people of similar interests with the intention of solving their common challenges using the bicycle as a common denominator but with saving as a driving factor. However, since bicycles cannot carry much load by the nature of their design, 4 Cargo Bikes were distributed to the group members, especially those trading agricultural products, to ease their access to markets. It is imperative to note that these are doing tremendous strides especially in transporting agricultural products from the gardens to markets during this lockdown period where public transport has been banned. Additionally, the trainings in financial management and the common savings enabled many people to bundle their money and start small businesses. Besides that, also soft skills like responsibility, team work, transparency and respect shall be transmitted to the vulnerable communities. The project was running so well that in 2022 FABIO decided to continue and expand it by building new SHGs in different communities.
The majority of our SHG beneficiaries is using the bicycles to fetch water for brick laying, fetching animal feeds, accessing gardens and markets for their products. This has increased their income per capita and hence improved their livelihoods. This has enabled many of them to save in the Self Help Groups and from which they can borrow money to start their own small businesses.