The ACF Missions Economic Empowerment Program has two components. The first is the micro finance project that provides loans to individuals to help them establish small businesses. This program is designed to train the needy and underprivileged in Africa on how to sustain themselves economically and help to build their communities. It also helps to keep the youth away from the street and make them productive members of their communities. Through this program, ACF Missions Inc. gives hope to the needy children and the community in general.
The second component is agricultural production. The goal of this project is to raise resources internally to sustain ACF Missions Inc. program with less dependence on external support. It is also designed to help provide employment and solve the problem of food scarcity in Africa. The sustainability of our programs in country is vital for the expansion of our program.
Micro Finance Program
Our program offers interest free loans of $300 to $500 along with training to indigenes to start small businesses in an effort to create employment for the youth, and poor families with young children. Currently, ACF Missions has established this program in Benin Republic and Uganda, and plans to expand it to other nations of Africa.
The Benin Republic Economic Empowerment Program was established to provide interest-free loan to candidates who have viable small business ideas to start businesses. The beneficiaries of the loan are expected to pay back the loan within 12 to 24 months after it is issued. Thereafter, the loan is recycled to some other candidates.
We currently provide support to Pastors and church leaders. The long term goal of the Benin Republic program is to expand to the larger community, using the Pastors and church leaders program as a pilot. We look forward to working with the local leaders (Church leaders or Program Implementation Committee) to ensure that the program produces successful small business entrepreneurs.
The Uganda economic empowerment program focuses on the children graduating from the Child Sponsorship program. Due to hard economic situations in Africa, many students who graduated from college find it difficult to get jobs. Rather than watch the investments we made in the orphans who pass through our child sponsorship program go through the drains, ACF Missions Inc. provides small loan to the graduates to help them set up businesses to support themselves and their families.
Selection Procedure and guideline:
- Local leaders (Church leaders) and ACF Missions Inc. local Program Implementation Committee (PIC) identify core small businesses that could produce favorable economic results with potentials of revolving the interest free loan within one to two years to other recipients.
- Local leaders and PIC identify individuals with business abilities and spiritual integrity as recipients of the loan.
- Each recipient turns in a one-page summary (Condensed Business Plan) describing (i) the nature of the business they plan to start, (ii) Why they thought they should receive the loan (iii) what they should do to help them repay the loan in one to two years so that it can be extended to others, and (iv) a breakdown of the cost elements of the business.
- Three (3) months after the loan is issued, recipients shall make periodic (monthly) payments sufficient to pay the loan off in one to two years. The payments shall be made to the leader of the PIC for deposit into a recycling savings account.
- The PIC monitors the progress of the Economic Empowerment and provides ACF Missions with quarterly reports.
- The PICS forms an Accountability Team among the recipients to ensure that monthly repayment are consistently made and deposited into the recycling savings account.
- Record Keeping Requirements: The success of every venture is dependent on good business judgment and sound record keeping. Each recipient of the interest free loan is required to keep records of goods, labor or assets purchased as well as sales made or services provided.
Agricultural Production Program
ACF Missions Inc. has 14 acres of land at our program site in Kigarama, Kabarole district in western Uganda. We currently have planted acres of banana (matoke), cassava and tree (for construction) in the property.
We also have about two hectares of property in Kumi district in eastern Uganda for agricultural production, which will commence as soon as funds become available.
At the national office in Kampala, ACF Missions Inc. also has an ongoing pilot farming project to raise resources to support the operations of the local NGO, ACF-Uganda. We hope to expand this project to support ACF missions’ work in Uganda.
ACF Mission is also looking to acquire land in Benin Republic for agricultural production. Investment will begin as soon as a land is secured and funds are available.
- Currently, we have eight (8) people supported through the Benin Republic micro finance program. These individuals are doing well in their businesses and we have provided extra funding to some of them to expand their businesses.
- Some of the children who graduated from our child sponsorship program have received supports for their businesses. We bought sewing machines for three graduates who attended a tailoring technical school. They are making good progress in their business. We also bought bicycle for four sponsored children that chose to farm to help facilitate their transportation to the farm and market to sell their products.
- The banana (matoke) plantation in Kigaram, Kabarole district provides job for the indigenes and the proceeds are re-invested to expand the production. We look forward to using the proceeds from the plantation to support our program in Uganda.
- The tree plantation will be due for harvesting in a couple of years, and will provide resources for re-investment and support of our program in the country.
ACF Missions, Inc. is committed to the success of the economic empowerment program and anticipates a favorable outcome that will become an impetus for economic revitalization in Republic of Benin and Uganda.