Kiruhura District has received a $1.3 million (about Shs4.8 billion) livelihood improvement center that is intended to fight poverty among households through increasing self-reliance.
Kensunga Epicentre in Nyabushozi County has been constructed by the Hunger Project Uganda with support from Australian partners.
While unveiling the centre on Wednesday, Dr Daisy Owomugasho, the country director Hunger Project Uganda, said the facility has spaces for youth, women, food bank, health center, rural bank, demonstration gardens and all these is intended to make communities self-reliant.
The Epicenter Strategy used by Hunger Project Uganda mobilizes clusters of rural villages into “epicenters,” which band together 5,000-15,000 people to create a dynamic center where communities are mobilized for action to meet their basic needs.
“This strategy is designed to partner with communities over a period of about eight years after which they graduate to a phase of sustainable self-reliance, which means that communities have demonstrated the confidence, capacity and skills to act as agents of their own development,” Dr Owomugasho said.
She said Kiruhura has one of the highest Women’s Empowerment Index scores to date across their epicenters at nearly 78 out of 100 points.
Dr Owomugasho said 100% of women are receiving at least one antenatal visit, there is a 65% increase in the proportion of the population aware of their HIV status since the midterm study in 2013 and extreme poverty has reduced by nearly 75% since 2013. She added that 37% of households have a non-farm business.
“This is a monumental achievement for these communities and all of the staff and investors who partnered with them along the way! We’d like to particularly acknowledge the Whitbread Foundation and the Cranlana group of investors, who have underwritten Kiruhura Epicenter,” Dr Owomugasho added.