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Oluka, COVID-19 inspired money lender for the poor

My “Robert’s Money Lending Business” started in my village, Ocelakur in Kalaki District, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which hit the world, including my motorbike spare parts selling business in Lira City. Due to the lock down which was put in place by the Government, boda-boda (motorbike) riders, who were my esteemed customers, were stopped from working. Also, it was very difficult to have access to supplies for motorbike spare parts, among other things, which greatly affected my business operations.

My only source of income at the time was my motorbike spare parts shop and it was crippled by COVID-19. I was forced to survive on the little savings that I had and the capital that I had set aside for my business, hence frustrating my business of selling motorbike spare parts. When the lock down was partially lifted, I could no longer go back to doing the same business. I was not even able to afford keeping myself in the city any more.

This therefore forced me to relocate myself from the city to the village, where I have had to scratch my head and to think of where to begin from again. Since, I am being mentored to be an innovator, under the CPAR Uganda project: “Mentoring Young Adults into Innovators Against Poverty,” it was very easy for me to carry out a feasibility study and to come up with the money lending idea.

“This mentorship program turned my way of looking at poverty, like turning away from sin to Christ. I strongly believe. I just need some little period of time to dispel poverty. Hopefully, my money lending business will not only transform my life, but also the community that I live in at large.”

Oluka Robert writing about the CPAR Uganda Mentoring Programme

A beneficiary in training under CPAR Uganda’s Farmers First Programme, which CPAR Uganda implemented in partnership with the Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief.

I believe a money lending business will not help me alone, but it will also benefit my community at large, with benefits such as:

  • Quick access to money to meet household emergencies.
  • Top up capital for small business operators, especially women and youth in the community.
  • Easy access for farmers to borrow money to buy quality seeds during planting season.
  • Community members access to capital, through borrowing, in order to start up small-scale businesses, like tomatoes selling, mukene (Sliver fish) selling, among others.
  • Quick access to affordable loan with low interest rate.
  • Source of revenue to the sub-county.
  • Creating employment opportunities.
  • A learning point for young people.

Following our mentoring training session on cash flows, I am resolved and determined to improve my money lending business using the knowledge and skills that I gained on developing and using cash flows for income generation.

By Robert Oluka, Innovator

Featured image: marketing eggplants at Loro Market, photo taken by Norah Owaraga

One response to “Oluka, COVID-19 inspired money lender for the poor”

  1. […] Oluka Robert at his home in Ocelekur Village in Kalaki District. He holds a Bachelor of Development Studies degree from Ndejje University. Since joining our mentoring programme and since loosing his livelihood due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, he has returned back to his ancestral village, where he is establishing a money-lending social enterprise. There are no banks in Kalaki District, nor in the neighbouring Kaberamaido District. The banks nearest to his village are in Soroti District; over 40 kms away, but may take over two hours to get there due to the poor road network and insufficient public transport. Read more on Robert’s Money Lending Business. […]


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