Project: Kleos Uganda
The Gulu pilot project was launched in March of 2012 - the first ever project for Kleos Microfinance Group! The initial loan cycle issued 3,700,000 Ugandan Shillings (UGX) - about $1400 - in loans to villagers in the rural areas in Gulu, a district in northern Uganda. The first cycle comprised of 94% women, and averaged about 230,000 UGX - the equivalent of less than $100 in Canada. All loans issued by Kleos were administered by local staff in partnership with Kleos' partners on the ground, the Tetugu Uganda Association. New loans were set to be issued on a quarterly basis as more demand for loans were brought to in to Kleos staff.
Upon the completion of the pilot project, Kleos MFG embarked upon opening the first ever Kleos satellite office, Kleos Uganda. The office was open officially in fall 2014 in Gulu town. Staffed locally, the office now reaches thousands of individuals across Northern Uganda. Along with the initial loan programming, the Kleos Ugana staff have designed and launched training and savings programs specific to the needs of the people in the region. In 2017, the program will continue expanding with additional savings programming options and the creation of a new scholarship program.
Gulu, one of the northern most districts, is one of the poorest regions in Uganda. As a country, 52% of the population lives below the international poverty line, equal to less than $1.25US per day. However, the poverty gap is still highest in the northern region, at 23.5%, with certain parts of the region experiencing virtually no reduction in poverty over the previous decade, and instead experienced the country’s largest increase in poverty, at 59%.
For more information on the Gulu region of Uganda, please see: here