With Women Kisoboka

Women Empowered to be the Change

Cambridge, MA   |  https://wwkisoboka.org

Mission

WWK's mission is to inspire upward economic mobility and self-sufficiency, and sustainability of Uganda’s marginalized women living at the lowest income level who are motivated to spark change in their community. Our focus is on gender equity, women’s economic empowerment, and change in their community as a solution to the longstanding poverty in Uganda. Through women’s entrepreneurship, we help women grow their business knowledge, community-awareness, resources and networks. This allows our members to make financially responsible decisions in their businesses and social enterprises which will improve the health and well-being, education, environment, and resiliency of their community.

Ruling year info

2020

Founder and President

April Stone

Main address

PO Box 391522

Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Kisoboka Nano Initiative

EIN

84-4956061

NTEE code info

International Economic Development (Q32)

International Human Rights (Q70)

Economic Development (S30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

While gender equity is widely understood to be fundamental to economic and social progress, women in Uganda who live in the lowest income levels have continued to face discrimination and marginalization over generations. They have been denied the ability to make strategic life choices, and the opportunities to thrive economically, in a country where the condition perpetuate the stagnation of poverty.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Deepening Financial Inclusion

We provide wider access to useful financial services through interest-free loans, village savings and loans (VSLA), and ultimately connections to financial service providers who open the door to formal financial inclusion.

Population(s) Served
Women
Extremely poor people

Our literacy education, entrepreneurial business training, and continuous professional development has encouraged lifelong learning.

Population(s) Served
Women
Extremely poor people

WWK fosters community-centered skill development that addresses many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG*). This has made it possible for WWK members to pursue their entrepreneurial vision of becoming smallholder farmers, (SDG2, SDG5, SDG8), clean energy entrepreneurs (SDG7), improving access to clean water access and better sanitation (SDG6), advancing health and well-being (SDG 3) and tackling the effects of climate change (SDG13).

*The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)mentioned above are among the 17 global goals set by the United Nations to achieve “a better and more sustainable future for all” by the year 2030.

Population(s) Served
Women
Extremely poor people

With Women Kisoboka (WWK) is a Global Catalyst Partner of SBS. Since 2019, WWK's leadership are Certified Lead Coaches of the SBS proven and effective Train-the-Trainer curriculum, which builds confidence, provides practical, hands-on business skills, and is highly adaptable to all community contexts. Last March 2020, WWK's Executive Director and Program Director began what was to be implementation of the Entrepreneurship Training for each of our 5 local partners, although the pandemic interrupted, enabling one local partner in the hills of Kasese District to benefit. UPDATE: Milly Nalukwago, ED and Aminah Nakayiza, PD are continuing the SBS training April-August 2021.

Population(s) Served
Women
Extremely poor people

WWK is exceptionally pleased that we have recently developed a partnership with the Uganda-based fintech company Ensibuuko. Together we share the goal of addressing the challenge faced by millions of Ugandans in being able to access relevant and affordable financial services. In partnership, we make is possible for WWK women members to be on a path to formal financial inclusion. Since 2016, WWK participants have engaged in increased economic security through interest-free small loans, which we see as a bridge to financial inclusion, coupled with the resources, tools, training and opportunities to realize their entrepreneurial vision. While some women have engaged in community Village Savings and Loans (VSLA), others hoped to move to banks for greater capital but the terms and conditions were not something they could manage. With Ensibuuko’s cloud-based banking software, and the growing sense of community, trust and friendship among our members, as well as experience in managing financial assistance, WWK realized it was timely to initiate a new program focused on VSLAs, which through Ensibuuko’s software will digitize and automate how our women participants, their customers, the NGO and nonprofit manage their savings, loans and financial reporting.

Population(s) Served

Originally a program of Uganda's Ministry of Gender and Labour, designed to focus on linking literacy to people’s livelihoods and needs, the programme incorporates skill-specific training, in addition to literacy and numeracy, and attempts to link the two to show learners how literacy is important and can be used for personal development in their everyday lives. Each local partner is implementing FAL training as it has proven to be an ideal foundation for optimal learning of entrepreneurial business skills.

Population(s) Served

This project is focused on clean energy cook stoves, renewable waste briquettes, the marketing of solar products and water harvesting (for kitchen gardens irrigation and home use) all addressing both the women’s business interests, as well as the respective community’s goals aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals of hunger (SDG2), good health (SDG3), education (SDG4), gender equality (SDG5), productive employment and decent work (SDG8) and climate change (SDG 13). Specifically, the project focuses on women-led climate change mitigation and adaptation effort, through awareness building activities, distribution of clean renewable energy technologies (clean cook stoves, waste briquettes, solar lights and phone chargers, and home solar panels), and rain water harvesting tanks for access to clean water.

Population(s) Served
Women
Extremely poor people

Rapid population growth and the increasing impact of climate change has worsened food insecurity, health care, and the livelihoods of many of the marginalized poor who work as small-scale farmers, a majority who have expressed interest and are already participating in tackling the challenges of a vulnerable ecosystem by diversifying their livelihoods and concurrently restoring degraded lands in their community. This Sustainable Agriculture and Fish Farming Project is an innovative and inclusive agricultural project with an aim of mobilizing, organizing and training marginalized poor women to be entrepreneurs as small-holder fish farmers, sustainable vegetable growers and nutrition-sensitive poultry rearing farmers. This community-based environmental conservation project will provide the assets and tools as well as training in business and skill development that will also improve the livelihood, health, nutrition and education of all beneficiaries that will extend to their families and in turn better their community. This self-sustaining project, which will provide locally grown vegetables, eggs, chicken and fish protein, is already started with two fish ponds but without proper breeds of fish fingerlings because of funding shortages. The scarcity of fish is a national issue as over fishing in Lake Victoria has resulted in a reduction in the fish supply in Uganda. Fish processing plants were licensed to operate, yet only nine are operating fully. Others have failed to take off due to insufficient fish supply. This project aims at increasing the production of fish locally, and has a vision to impact the national fish supply as well.

Population(s) Served
Women
Extremely poor people

Nakafeero Florence, Program Lead of our local partner in Nakaseke, ACCESS can best describe this project, “When I heard about the new opportunity with WWK, I immediately knew that I would greatly benefit from the access to capital to buy wood nails to build bee hives. I feel like one of the luckiest beneficiaries. I now have a dozen hives and have taught more than 15 women at ACCESS how to also build hives and bee farm.” The Nakaseke Bee Keeping project launched its honey production business in October 2020.

In April 2020, the members and moms of WWK's local partner in Kiboga were so excited to be new bee farmers! WWK/ACCESS Program Lead Nakafeero Florence and her husband Mr. Kabagambe, owners of the Nakaseke Bee Keeping Project, were generous in their teaching to the BKWG, Kiboga women.

Population(s) Served
Women
Extremely poor people

Poultry rearing was generated as a project by WWK members during vision workshops in the Spring of 2019 when the women expressed their needs and that of their community and what they could do in their livelihoods to impact these challenges. Hunger and malnutrition, which too aligns with the strategic objectives of local authorities was identified. Likewise, urban farming and agroecology, and training in best practices of poultry rearing specifically, is recognized to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals of hunger (SDG2), good health (SDG3), education (SDG4), gender equality (SDG5), productive employment and decent work (SDG8) and climate change (SDG 13). The marginalized women of Busega are interested in this project because a) it is a job they can work at within the perimeter of their homes as many are single moms and have children to care for, b) the market for chickens is available and strong, c) profits are expected from this new livelihood for the women of this urban settlement, and d) the women are excited to acquire the knowledge and skills of poultry rearing. To start we have five groups of women who will work at five different homesteads where the poultry houses have available space to be located. The women who have expressed interest in chicken rearing fully expect this project to be successful and life changing. WWK recently received funding from the Arthur B. Schultz Foundation for this nutrition-sensitive poultry rearing project in Busega, Kampala which we will be a training center for scaling to other WWK local partners. We are looking for a funding partner who will work with us to achieve this goal.

Population(s) Served
Women
Extremely poor people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

How many members doesn your household have? (PPI)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

One of ten questions from the PPI (Poverty Probability Index) that enables WWK to generate a poverty likelihood by individual member and by average of our local partners. These results are averages.

Are all household members ages 6 to 12 currently in school? (PPI)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

One of ten questions from the PPI (Poverty Probability Index) that enables WWK to generate a poverty likelihood by individual member and by average of our local partners. These results are averages.

Can the (oldest) female head/spouse read and write with understanding in any language? (PPI)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

One of ten questions from the PPI (Poverty Probability Index) that enables WWK to generate a poverty likelihood by individual member and by average of our local partners. These results are averages.

What type of material is mainly used for construction of the wall of the dwelling? (PPI)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

One of ten Poverty Probability Index Uganda (PPI) questions that enables WWK to generate a poverty likelihood by individual member and by averages of our local partners. These results are averages.

What type of material is mainly used for construction of the roof of the dwelling? (PPI)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

One of ten questions from the PPI (Poverty Probability Index) that enables WWK to generate a poverty likelihood by individual member and by average of our local partners. These results are averages.

What source of energy does the household mainly use for cooking? (PPI)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

One of ten questions from the PPI (Poverty Probability Index) that enables WWK to generate a poverty likelihood by individual member and by average of our local partners. These results are averages.

What type of toilet facility does the household mainly use? (PPI)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

One of ten questions from the PPI (Poverty Probability Index) that enables WWK to generate a poverty likelihood by individual member and by average of our local partners. These results are averages.

How many mobile phones do members of your household own? (PPI)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

One of ten questions from the PPI (Poverty Probability Index) that enables WWK to generate a poverty likelihood by individual member and by average of our local partners. These results are averages.

Does any member of your household own a radio? (PPI)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

One of ten questions from the PPI (Poverty Probability Index) that enables WWK to generate a poverty likelihood by individual member and by average of our local partners. These results are averages.

Does every member of the household have at least one pair of shoes? (PPI)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

One of ten questions from the PPI (Poverty Probability Index) that enables WWK to generate a poverty likelihood by individual member and by average of our local partners. These results are averages.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

With Women Kisoboka (WWK) sees the moxie of marginalized women as the energy and spirit behind transformative change. The initial, intermediate and long-term outcomes that guide us, which are also the basis of WWK’s logic model, are as follows:

INITIAL OUTCOMES:
• Participants will increase their knowledge of literacy, numeracy and business management to develop income management sophistication
• Participants will develop the confidence of an entrepreneurial mindset to further their sense of self-sufficiency, resiliency and well-being
•Participants will be empowered with the ability to make meaningful choices
•Participants will increase their understanding of important leadership skills (communication, motivation responsibility, decision making, creativity, trustworthiness, positivity, feedback value)
•Participants grow in their independence, business acumen, leadership potential, and community awareness.

INTERMEDIATE OUTCOMES:
•Participants lead businesses that support their family’s basic needs.
•Participants will shift from informal to formal financial inclusion to transact, access credit and insurance, all of which serves as a gateway to other financial services.
•Participants serve as mentors and leaders in their respective communities

LONG TERM OUTCOME:
Participants will be engaged in sustained businesses that support the beyond-basic-needs of their family and better their community.

What WWK members engage in the following activities to achieve these outcomes:

•Participants register as members of the WWK/local CBO partnership agreeing to the program rules, values and structure.
•Participants engage in access to interest-free small capital in the amount of 20USD, with the obligation to pay back all or part on a monthly basis as trusted members of their local CBO/WWK partner. Upon payment in full, participants can continue to access the financial assistance.
•Participants attend trainings in FAL (functional adult literacy) provided by local partners meeting 4 hours, once a week for 6 months, financial inclusion for 2-3 workshops/annually provided by local community experts, business management for 8 modules provided by the trained NGO management team, and skill development, which varies depending on the skill and is provided by technical network partners.
•To build or grow a business, participants attend coaching sessions offered by the local program team at monthly meetings or during monthly individual check-ins, as well as during triannual community visits of the NGO team. Barriers the women face that are addressed in coaching sessions include recognizing the competition, understanding the market, and accessing the assets needed.
•Participants engage with and contribute to building a community of trust, collaboration, learning, mentorship and community awareness.
•Participants engage in community outreach and programming through their Community Development Officer (CDO), with the CBO, and/or with the NGO’s technical partner to build awareness of the benefits of new business sectors.
•Women graduate when they have attained all 4 intermediate outcomes. At that point they are life-long members of the organization, benefitting from the sense of community, serving as mentors to new members, and engaging in on-going trainings and professional development, as desired.

With Women Kisoboka (WWK) is an indigenous NGO in Uganda and an affiliate non-profit in the US. Both organizations have strong, collaborative board support, each committed to stable finances and human-centered, systems change approach. WWK grew from what was the first program in Africa of an out-of-country NGO, which implements a program of interest-free small loans for the poorest of poor to spark individual and community transformation. This Uganda initiative was founded and operated by women, working with women to promote their human rights and freedoms, and in doing so to better their families and community. Through women’s economic empowerment, WWK members today grow to see themselves as wage-earners and contributors. These small, interest free loans serve as catalysts for the most marginalized to realize a change of mindset that nourishes feelings of person agency, which brings meaning and connection in their lives.

Since 2016, we have seen these small capital loans -- buttressed by literacy, numeracy and business education as well as skill-based training -- reduce on average poverty likelihood by 5-10% annually for our local partner communities (per the Poverty Probability Index). We have also seen the loans act as a bridge to financial inclusion for the most marginalized, resulting in social and economic benefits. During the past three plus years, WWK has succeeded in establishing an organizational structure based on a human-centered, collaborative community systems change approach to address the challenges of extreme poverty in the urban slums and rural villages of Uganda. We provide best practice training in businesses run by WWK beneficiaries that in many cases align with their community’s strategic interests.

We also encourage a learning partnership model among our local partners by using a shared Google Drive, What’s App groups and systems and processes that capture and share success and challenges, best practices gained, lessons learned and knowledge shared. The Management Team of WWK not only meets several times a year with each local partner, but are in frequent communication to share and disseminate lessons learned or various ways different communities can support each other or benefit from shared resources. Using photography, video, interviews and M&E surveys, each program team captures project indicator-aligned data gleaned during weekly visits, bimonthly financial assistance distributions and collections, and quarterly reporting. Each local partner engages with Local Leadership to continually improve the program. WWK’s NGO and non-profit will perform analysis on all data gathered. Additionally, since October 2019, all local partners meet annually; however, given the COVID pandemic, we have scheduled monthly all hands video conference calls to further expand knowledge management within the organization.

WHAT'S NEXT:
With Women Kisoboka (WWK) will continue to work closely with our existing group of urban and rural communities. We have made incredible strides in providing the opportunities for the women we engage with to empower themselves, their families and their community (see specifics below). Moving forward, we want to increase our focus on cross-community sharing. Specifically, we plan to have our local partners train each other and new communities in the profitable and systems change projects each community has developed. By employing this cross-community training

WHAT WE ACCOMPLISHED SO FAR
WWK is a women-led and operated, indigenous NGO in Uganda and an affiliate US-based nonprofit focused on women’s economic empowerment and community systems change as solutions to the relentless poverty in Uganda. When WWK empowers poor, marginalized women with functional adult literacy and numeracy education (FAL), the entrepreneurship training of Street Business School and the learning of specific skills, along with interest free financial assistance, we are making it possible (the translation of 'Kisoboka') for these remarkable women to access upward economic mobility, resiliency and self-sufficiency. Several specific accomplishments include: 1) reduction in the average poverty likelihood of the women's groups we work with by 5-10% annually, 3) growth of more than 20 times the number of participating women in our program in 4 years and 4) expansion of digital inclusion within and among the NGO and local partners to support data-driven improvements to WWK’s entrepreneurial model.

A mind-set shift is nurtured by providing small interest-free loans to the poorest of the poor women, which builds their confidence to see themselves at earners and contributors. Economically empowered, they demonstrate repeatedly to have the strength to tackle the many and constant barriers in front of them. Building a sense of community and promise, the women grow in their independence, business acumen and leadership potential. Individually or in collaboration, they grow their capital, save increasingly more, and have the opportunity to consider developing their business into micro, small and medium enterprises.

WWK's local management team conducts three visits annually to partner communities. Within each community, there are 2 Program Leads/Coordinators. The registered NGO is located in Kampala District, Lubaga Division and was founded by marginalized women to empower those like themselves to take purposeful action and realize their goals, free from the injustice that is part of their daily life. WWK works exclusively in partnership with local CBOs and NGOs based in Uganda's urban settlements and remote, rural villages. We work together—women helping women in trust—to nurture agency as expressed in collaborative action, decision-making, and leadership to bring about social change.

Financials

With Women Kisoboka

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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With Women Kisoboka

Board of directors
as of 4/28/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

April Stone

With Women Kisoboka

Term: 2020 - 2023

Amelia Koch

retired

Michael Epstein

Bain Capital

Eliza Epstein

Google

Marge Houy

retired

Rebecca Ssemambo

Bain Capital

Ronda Zawel

NYC Department of Health

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/28/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability