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There are over 6 billion people in the world living in poverty. Current approaches are not sustainable or scaleable, because they are too expensive.  They also are ineffective in that they don't treat people with respect - a remnant from colonization. There is a need for an alternative way.

Up with Africa (UW/A) is partnering with Mauricio Miller of The Community Independence Institute (CII) to bring to Africa such an alternative approach, that we call Peer-Driven Change. Mauricio wrote a book called The Alternative, which describes his personal story as an immigrant watching his family and friends come together to rise out of poverty by believing in themselves and helping each other. He pioneered this in Oakland, California and spread it across the U.S., and has recently brought it to Liberia in Africa. UW/A is now bringing it to other parts of Africa starting with three initiatives in Uganda, one in the DRC Congo and another in Ethiopia. The projects below are from the initiative in Southwest, Uganda near the town of Kisoro. 

We believe that this type of helping is the only sustainable and scaleable way to reach and help the billions of people living in poverty around the world. Peer-Driven Change involves three transformational aspects.

First, we believe that the families living in poverty that we are trying to help are the best experts of their own lives, make good decisions for their families and are the best ones to know how to spend any funding slated to help them.

Second, we help families self-organize into 10 groups of 10 families of natural peer groups of friends, in order to meet monthly, support one another, help one another and also learn from each other.  Families complete monthly financial surveys on their household expenses in order to learn how to improve their financial situations.

Third, we try to direct any financial resources available to go directly to the families, because they know how best to spend it.  This funding might normally go to non-profit and NGO's to build expensive organizations of costly staff and outside experts.  Our aim is to divert funding directly to the families, because they are best equipped to know how to pull themselves out of poverty.

UW/A and its partner organizations have developed this platform to enable others to help through financial contributions that all go directly to the local family-run businesses and projects. 100% of contributions to the projects go directly to the families and are tax deductible in the United States.

Learn more about the projects and family businesses below by choosing a group or category of interest, and clicking it to learn more about that area, along with the projects listed in that category. Click on a project to get detailed information about the project, and click on the Contribute or Invest button in the right hand corner to contribute to that specific project.  

Thanks so much for joining us in this global movement to change the world.

Kisoro Groups


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